Thai PM Dissolves Government Amid 'Final Showdown'

New elections not enough, protesters say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 9, 2013 12:19 AM CST
Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks on Thai TV today, announcing new elections.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Thailand's prime minister has announced she will dissolve the lower house of Parliament and call early elections in an attempt to calm the country's deepening political crisis. The surprise move came as 100,000 protesters vowing to overthrow her government marched through the streets of Bangkok for a "final showdown." It was not clear if Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's move would satisfy protesters who say they will not settle for her ouster but instead want to rid Thailand of her politically powerful family's influence.

Yingluck appeared emotional and her voice shook as she spoke in a nationally televised address. "After listening to opinions from all sides, I have decided to request a royal decree to dissolve Parliament," she said, adding that a date for new elections would be set "as soon as possible" and that she would remain in a caretaker capacity until the election of a new prime minister. Many protesters dismissed the development as insufficient and protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has repeatedly said that calling fresh elections would not be enough to end the conflict. He has demanded that a non-elected "people's council" lead the country instead.

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