The Thai Parliament was dissolved by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra amid an ongoing political crisis. Shinawatra called for new elections to fill the empty seats. Despite her announcement, more than 100,000 anti-government protestors are prepared to storm the Prime Minister’s office.
Shinawatra’s decision to dissolve parliament was sparked by an announcement from the Democrat Party. Nearly 150 members of the party committed to resign from parliament, as they claimed they could not effectively work with the current government.
Opposition party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva credits the protestors with forcing the Prime Minister’s hand. Vejjajiva said “the best way for the Prime Minister to show responsibility is returning power to the people.”
Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said dissolving the Thai Parliament is not enough. As reported by CNN, the former deputy prime minister said Shinawatra needs to transfer political power to a neutral “people’s council.”
The protests were organized in opposition to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The protestors believe the current Prime Minister is working under the influence of her brother — former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Thaksin was removed from office during a military coup. Time reports he was accused and convicted of corruption in office. Although Thaksin was ousted in 2006, and is currently living in exile, Yingluck is accused of attempting to manipulate the law to secure her brother’s freedom.
Although the protests began as peaceful demonstrations, they soon erupted into violence. On November 30, a battle between protestors and police led to five deaths.
Following the violent clash, both protestors and police agreed to a truce out of respect for Thailand’s king, who recently turned 86.
Despite the current political crisis, parties affiliated with Thaksin have been in power since 2001. Although the two are related, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has vehemently denied that her political decisions were influenced by her brother.
The Prime Minister said she dissolved the Thai Parliament in an effort to prevent further suffering for the country and the citizens of Thailand.
[Image via Wikimedia]