BANGKOK: Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday refused to step down as demanded by the anti-government protesters ahead of February elections, urging the demonstrators to stop protests and choose the next government through the electoral system, Dispatch News Desk reported.
On Monday, Yingluck Shinawatra announced the dissolution of the lower house of Parliament and proposed fresh elections be held on February 2 in an attempt to calm the deepening political crisis in the country.
The Thai premier appointed herself as interim prime minister and said that her cabinet was legally-bound to act as an interim government until the elections.
However, thousands of protesters took to the streets in Bangkok and urged Yingluck Shinawatra to resign and be replaced with a people’s prime minister.
The protesters’ leader Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy premier under the previous military-backed government, issued an ultimatum urging Yingluck Shinawatra and her colleagues to resign from the caretaker government.
On the other hand, the opposition Democrat Party whose lawmakers resigned from the Parliament on Sunday in protest against the government said that they did not yet decide whether to participate in the upcoming elections.
At least five people have been killed and at least 289 injured since the latest unrest began last month, aiming to topple the government of Yingluck Shinawatra.
The anti-government protesters accuse Yingluck Shinawatra-led government of being a proxy of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, the elder brother of current PM Shinawatra.
The government came under more criticism when it tried to pass an amnesty bill last month which would pave the way for the Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in 2006 by the military and in self-exile in Dubai, to return without facing any trial.