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US urges new elections in Thailand

The United States on Wednesday called for a "peaceful" resolution to political tensions in Thailand and new elections after the country's constitutional court dismissed the prime minister and nine ministers for abuse of power.

Washington was "following closely" the developments after the court removed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office, ruling she had acted illegally by transferring a top security officer in 2011.

"We continue to urge all sides to resolve Thailand’s political tensions in a peaceful and democratic manner so that the Thai people can choose political leadership they deserve," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

"In keeping with Thailand’s democratic ideals, a resolution should include elections and an elected government."

Nine cabinet ministers who endorsed the decision to transfer Thawil Pliensri were also stripped of their status.

Observers said the court ruling does nothing to ease Thailand’s prolonged political malaise, and there were fears of further clashes on the streets of Bangkok with the kingdom still bitterly divided.

Psaki called on all sides "to exercise restraint" and stressed that "violence is not an acceptable means of resolving political differences."


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