May.10 - Thai government supporters gather ahead of a planned mass rally on the outskirts of Bangkok, as opposition protesters also plan a march in the capital. Rough Cut (No Reporter Narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Supporters of Thailand's beleaguered government gathered on Saturday (May 10) on the outskirts of Bangkok saying they were determined to safeguard democracy and avert a coup as anti-government protesters, based at a central park, planned their "final push". Thailand's polarized politicians have been unable to forge a compromise over a nearly decade-long split between the royalist establishment and a populist former telecommunications tycoon, whose sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, was ousted as prime minister on Wednesday (May 7). Her sacking followed six months of anti-government protests that have unnerved investors, frightened away tourists and dented growth in Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy. One leader of United front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) told a crowd of redshirts that an election was needed soon. Tens of thousands of loyalists of Yingluck and her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, were gathering on the western fringes of Bangkok for a rally to defend democracy. Yingluck was thrown out of office for abuse of power over the appointment of a security agency chief and on Thursday she was indicted by an anti-corruption agency for negligence over a rice subsidy scheme aimed at helping farmers that ran up huge losses. Yingluck's Puea Thai Party still runs the interim government and is hoping to organize a July 20 election that it would probably win. But anti-government protesters want the government out, the election postponed and reforms to end Thaksin's influence. Both the pro- and anti-government camps have armed activists within their ranks and the rival protests this weekend, even though they are far apart, have raised fears of trouble.