By Kocha Olarn
BANGKOK (CNN) -- Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets of Thailand's capital Sunday, some surrounding the home of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, whom they want to oust.
Some 70,000 to 80,000 protesters were marching in Bangkok, Lt. Gen. Paradon Patthanathabut, Thailand's national security chief, told CNN, and 10,000 had surrounded the premier's home while she tours the northeast provinces.
In a bid to cool tensions, Shinawatra dissolved the nation's parliament earlier this month and called for new elections, to be held on February 2.
But the move has done little to appease anti-government protesters, who remained on the streets by the thousands.
The main opposition party, the Democrat Party, has said it will boycott the polls.
During the weeks of demonstrations, protesters have occupied various government offices. The rallies have been mostly peaceful, but there have also been deadly clashes between protesters and government supporters.
Protest leaders have said they want to rid Thailand of the influence of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the older brother of Yingluck.
That's an ambitious goal in a country where every election since 2001 has been won by parties affiliated with Thaksin, who built his political success on populist policies that appealed to Thailand's rural heartland.
Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in a military coup in 2006 and has spent most of the time since then in exile overseas. If he returns, he risks a two-year prison sentence on a corruption conviction, which he says was politically motivated.
The current protests in Bangkok were prompted by a botched attempt by Yingluck Shinawatra's government to pass an amnesty bill that would have opened the door for her brother's return.
That move added fuel for critics who accuse her of being nothing more than her brother's puppet, an allegation she has repeatedly denied.
CNN's Marie-Louise Gumuchian contributed to this report
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