Thai Opposition to Boycott 2014 Election

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Thailand's main opposition Democrat Party announced that it will boycott February's general election, deepening the country's political crisis.

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The party's leader, former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, announced the boycott after a meeting on Saturday with party executives.

"The meeting of party executives and former party lawmakers resolved that the Democrat Party will not send candidates to contest in the February 2, 2014 general election," he said in a press conference following the meeting.

He said the decision was made to try to ensure political reforms are implemented.

Embattled premier Yingluck Shinawatra, who called the elections in an effort to cool tensions, has insisted the polls will go ahead regardless of the Democrat decision, Al Jazeera reported.

The Democrat party's position reflects the stand taken by street protesters demanding that caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra step down ahead of the elections.

The protesters are demanding that an appointed interim government institute reforms before any new polls.

The Democrats, who are closely allied with the protest movement, also led an election boycott in 2006 that helped destabilize the government and paved the way for a military coup that ousted then- Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck's brother.

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