Bangkok, Thailand — Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has dissolved the House of Representatives after opposition MPs from the Democrat Party resigned en masse on Sunday.
Monday morning is also the start of what has been declared the anti-government protesters’ “final battle” to oust the government and get rid of the “Thaksin regime”, as it plans a mass march from nine directions to Government House.
Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, head of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, has said the turnout on Monday will determine whether the protesters win or lose.
The Democrat Party’s mass resignations of its 153 MPs was seen as a last-ditch effort to force the prime minister to dissolve the House, resign as prime minister, and transfer administrative power to protesters, said reports.
Prime Minister Yingluck said in a televised address that the House of Representatives has been dissolved in order to pave the way for a general election.
She said she will remain the head of the interim government until there is a new cabinet.
“The situation seems likely to escalate to violence so the government has decided to return power to the people and let them decide through elections,” said the prime minister.
Mr. Suthep, however, has made it clear that even a House dissolution and the prime minister’s resignation would not be enough to stop the rallies, until the “Thaksin influence” is uprooted.
The Democrats and protesters say the Pheu Thai-led government has lost legitimacy, first over the controversial blanket amnesty bill, and then when it publicly defied the Constitution Court’s ruling on the charter amendment on the make-up of the Senate.
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said party members and ex-MPs would join today’s protests as ordinary citizens.