Thai PM Yingluck dissolves Parliament
Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday dissolved Parliament in the face of mass demonstrations against her government that showed no sign of being called off.
Ms. Yingluck said she made the decision because “the government does not want Thailand or the Thai people to suffer more losses, because Thailand has suffered a lot already.” The Premier said she had sent the decision to King Bhumibol Adulyadej for his approval as head of state, and her Cabinet would remain as a caretaker government until a new election was held.
The announcement did not stop tens of thousands of protesters from descending on Government House, the seat of the administration.
“This is not enough,” said Thaworn Senneam, one of the protest leaders. “We do not accept them staying on as a caretaker government.”
Suthep Thaungsuban, who heads the anti-government demonstration, called for a march on Government House on Monday to topple the government and rid the country of the political influence of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck’s elder brother.
Mr. Suthep said a house dissolution was not the goal, but that his movement wants an appointed Prime Minister to set up a “People’s Council” and “People’s Government” for an interim period before any new elections.
Mr. Suthep early on Monday led thousands of followers from his base at an occupied government complex in northern Bangkok to the Cabinet’s headquarters, about 20 kilometres away.
The protesters kept marching despite the dissolution announcement, and were expected to reach Government House in the afternoon, witnesses said.
Mr. Suthep resigned his seat in Parliament with the opposition Democrat Party to lead street protests since November 1, when the ruling coalition approved an amnesty bill in the Lower House to pardon Mr. Thaksin and others involved in thousands of politically-related cases during 2004-13.
The amnesty bill was later rejected by the Senate.
The rest of the Democrat Party members of Parliament announced their resignations on Monday to join the demonstrations.