Thai PM Shinawatra Dissolves Parliament
Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has dissolved the parliament and called for fresh elections.
Shinawatra's decision comes a day after opposition lawmakers ostentatiously left the parliament. Despite the announced dissolution of parliament, there was a growing tide of more than 150,000 protesters vowing to overthrow PM Shinawatra in one of the nation's largest demonstrations in years.
"The government doesn't want the country and the Thai people to suffer more losses," she said Monday in a speech broadcast on state television, quoted by Businessweek.com.
"Returning power to voters is in line with the parliamentary democracy. We want all of you to see the importance of the election", the Prime Minister added.
The opposition wants the government's resignation and a transfer of power into the hands of the so-called 'People's Council'.
A new vote will be held on February 2, but the date must be approved by the Election Commission first.
Thailand has been plagued by major bouts of upheaval after PM Shinawatra's brother Thaksin was toppled in a 2006 army coup that stirred conflict between the elite and the middle-class against Thaksin's power base in the countryside.
An attempt by Yingluck's party last month to pass a bill through Parliament that would have granted amnesty to Thaksin and others triggered the latest round of unrest with hundreds of thousands protesters on the streets.