Yingluck calls for end to siege of govt offices, ready to talk to protest leader; protesters plan more marches today
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday rejected the anti-government protesters' demand for a "people's council", saying it was "not possible".
This is the first time that she has publicly responded to demands raised by key protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban.
"The government is happy to listen to requests from all groups, but this request for a 'people's council' cannot be implemented under the current Constitution," Yingluck said yesterday.
However, opposition Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva insisted his party is determined to go all out to overthrow the "Thaksin regime", saying the government had lost legitimacy. He said the Democrats are ready to support popular movements conducted within constitutional limits.
Suthep has announced that the protesters' ultimate goal is to end the "Thaksin regime" and replace it with a "people's council".
In her national address on television at 1.50pm yesterday, Yingluck called on the protesters to stop rallying at government offices and participate in a government-initiated forum.
She reiterated that her government was democratically elected and has been using peaceful means to deal with the protesters. She also said that she would be happy to speak in person to the protest leader. Early yesterday, she told the press that dissolving the House was not an option.
"Everybody knows about the protesters' stance, and there must be other methods of protests rather than rallying, closing government agencies and other symbolic steps they have taken. I'd like to ask for cooperation and my government affirms that a forum would be the best solution," she said.
Meanwhile, pressure is mounting as anti-government protesters cut water and power supply at the Royal Thai Police headquarters, including the nearby Office of Police Forensic Science in the compound of Police General Hospital, yesterday afternoon as part of their campaign to end the so-called Thaksin regime.