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Thai caretaker PM refuses to step down

Bangkok, Dec 17: Thai caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday reiterated that she would not resign as demanded by anti-government protestors.

Shinawatra insisted that, as per the country's constitution, she will stay on until a new prime minister is elected, Xinhua reported.

The country's next general elections are scheduled for Feb 2, 2014. Shinawatra also called on Thai voters to cast their ballots on the election day.

The caretaker cabinet has approved a budget of 3.8 billion baht ($118.6 million) for the elections, according to deputy government spokesman Chalitrat Chandarubeksa.

Representatives of the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee Tuesday urged the Election Commission to postpone the general elections.

Abhisit Vejjajiva on Tuesday was re-elected leader of the opposition Democrat Party at the party's general assembly.

The assembly is also expected to elect a new executive committee, which will decide whether the party will contest the general election.

Prime Minister Shinawatra announced the dissolution of the House of Representatives Dec 9 to defuse the country's prolonged political turmoil.

However, anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban refused to call off the street demonstrations unless Shinawatra resigned as caretaker prime minister.

Protestors have demanded that the caretaker government be replaced by an unelected "people's council" in a bid to uproot the so-called Thaksin regime. 

Update: 17-December-2013