|Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announces the dissolution of the House of Representatives in Bangkok, Thailand, Dec. 9, 2013. (Xinhua/Pool)
BANGKOK, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday announced the dissolution of the House of Representatives.
In a televised speech, Yingluck said the date of a general election will be decided as soon as possible.
Since the government took office in August 2011, it has been committed to addressing all sorts of crisis to promote social reconciliation, but divergence and conflicts still remain, Yingluck said.
Irrespective of government efforts, opposition parties resorted to street demonstrations rather than seeking solutions within the parliamentary system, she added.
Different political forces are still battling, each with a large number of supporters, Yingluck said, adding the country has seen too much pain.
The House is thus dissolved to return the power to the people at a critical moment, and let the people decide the way out for the nation, she said.
The dissolution is now awaiting royal approval.
Yingluck said she hoped all parties would attend the coming election and the government will remain functional as a caretaker until then.
The House dissolution is a way for the government to show responsibility for the current political situation, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said in a telephone interview with local Bluesky Channel.
It shows the government has no intention of clinging to power, he said, adding that the Democrat Party will continue to perform its duties as a political party after the dissolution.
Since early morning, anti-government protesters have been gathering at different sites to march to the Government House in a final attempt to topple the government.
Abhisit joined the massive rally, which was claimed by protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban to be "the final showdown with the government." All Democrat MPs resolved to resign en masse on Sunday evening to join Monday's protest.
Protest leaders said the dissolution was not enough and demanded the government resign and a "people's council" be established to find an unelected prime minister and cabinet instead of an elected one.
More people will be prompted to help explore solutions to the current predicament, and proposals by various groups will eventually head in the same direction, which is to return the power to the people and reform the country, Abhisit said.
Protesters have besieged the Government House, waiting for the main procession led by former deputy prime minister Suthep.
Barricades have been erected outside the Government House and so far no confrontation has occurred between the police and protesters.
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