Bangkok — Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of Thailand said today that she was willing to resign or dissolve the House of Representatives if it was necessary to restore peace, but rejected anti-government protesters’ demands that she hand power over to an unelected “People’s Council”.
The prime minister made the statements in a 12-minute speech broadcast live on television Monday afternoon from the Royal Thai Police Headquarters.
The demand for a “People’s Council” was made by protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban in a meeting with Ms. Yingluck and the three chiefs of the armed forces on Sunday night.
The prime minister again reiterated the view that the “People’s Council” idea goes against the constitution, saying “The government is more than willing to have talks, but I myself cannot see a way out of this problem that is within the law and within the constitution.”
“I don’t know how we can proceed,” with the demand Mr Suthep’s is making, she said. “We don’t know how to make it happen. Right now we don’t see any way to resolve the problem under the constitution.”
“If a House dissolution or my resignation can make the demonstrators return all the government offices and end their protests, I’m willing to do it,” she said, according to reports.
The prime minister also said people do not want to see a repeat of history, when people suffered and lost their lives, an apparent reference to the 2010 red-shirt protests that led to bloody clashes with the military.
In answering a journalist’s question on the army’s position, Ms Yingluck said the army has been neutral and wants to see peace in the country.