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By Khettiya Jittapong BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra proposed a referendum on her future on Sunday and promised to resign if that was what the people wanted, as anti-government protesters prepared for a final push to try to force her from power. Protesters have been on the streets of the capital for weeks, clashing with police and vowing to oust Yingluck and eradicate the influence of her self-exiled brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Underscoring the divide, the pro-establishment Democrat Party said all of its members of the House of Representatives would give up their seats because they were unable work with Yingluck's ruling party. The leader of the protesters, Suthep Thaugsuban, a former Democrat Party deputy prime minister, has called for a final demonstration on Monday to force Yingluck out.
India's Congress party was headed for a bruising defeat in key state elections, including in the capital, early results showed on Sunday, underlining the struggle it will face to cling to power in a national election due by May. Congress, led by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has ruled India for most of the 66 years since independence, is facing widespread anger at corruption and high inflation after two successive terms at the head of a national coalition. The center-left party's main opponent, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was the clear winner in three big states that went to the polls, though with the count still on it was a neck-and-neck race in a fourth. Markets are closely tracking the outcome of the polls, seen as a test of support the BJP's business-friendly candidate for prime minister, Narendra Modi. Bond, rupee and share prices rose last week after exit polls predicted a strong BJP performance.
Car bombs killed at least 30 people across Iraq on Sunday and wounded nearly a hundred, with attackers mainly targeting busy commercial streets in the capital, police sources said. The deadliest attack took place in the predominantly Shi'ite Muslim district of Bayaa in Baghdad when a bomb in a parked vehicle detonated near car workshops, killing seven and wounding 14, the sources said. Violence in Iraq is at the highest level in at least five years and the capital has been targeted almost daily. More than 8,000 have been killed this year, the United Nations says.