Thai PM announces House dissolution, calls snap election


BANGKOK, Dec 9 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday announced the dissolution of the lower house of parliament, saying she wants to return power to the people amid the ongoing political conflict.

The decision came one day after the mass resignation of the main opposition Democrat Party MPs on Sunday and less than an hour ahead of the beginning of the anti-government protesters began marching to the premier’s office at Government House from nine locations across the capital.

The prime minister, in her televised address this morning, announced that she would dissolve the House of Representatives and will meet with the Election Commission to discuss holding a general election as soon as possible. The cabinet will act as a caretaker until the new cabinet is formed.

“The government has exhausted every means to solve the country’s political conflict but to no avail. The anti-government group and members of the opposition party opt to use non-parliamentary means instead. The government has however implemented leniency in regards to the basic rights of people to prevent loss and avoid hurting the nation. Therefore the return of power to the people through a House dissolution and snap elections is [in accord with] democratic principles and internationally accepted,” Ms Yingluck said.

Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban earlier asserted that today is the day for the Thai people’s victory, the crucial day of anti-government march and has reassured the protesters that they will not return home empty-handed.

Mr Suthep said the goal of the anti-government protest is to eradicate the Thaksin regime and create

an unelected “People’s Council” representing people from all walks of life and professions to run the country.

Despite the premier’s announcement of a House dissolution and general election, former Democrat MP and one of the protest leaders Sathit Wongnongtoey told a crowd of protesters at Ratchadamnoen this morning that the protest will go on as the Cabinet still acts in a caretaker capacity.

Therefore the Thaksin regime still exists, he asserted.