Thai Opposition Party Quits Parliament

Raises the stakes in anti-government protests


BANGKOK — The Democrat Party, Thailand's oldest and the main force behind the country's political opposition, announced on Sunday that its members would resign from Parliament and join anti-government street demonstrations, deepening the political turmoil that has left five people dead and hundreds injured over the past two weeks.

The Democrats have been deeply frustrated by their inability to win elections against the powerful political machine backed by the billionaire tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra, a former prime minister who now lives in exile. The party's decision to withdraw from Parliament is the latest sign of the skepticism of Thailand's democratic process that is spreading among the opposition and many members of the Thai elite.