Former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva joined tens of thousands of anti-government protesters marching to the Government House on Monday (December 9) to call for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her administration to resign.
Yingluck dissolved parliament and called a snap election, but anti-government protest leaders pressed ahead with mass demonstrations seeking to install an unelected body to run Thailand.
The government has not used excessive force against the protesters and Yingluck said on Saturday (December 7) the police would act with restraint if people tried to occupy public buildings, including their main target, her Government House offices.
Underscoring the divide, the pro-establishment opposition Democrat Party said on Sunday (December 8) all of its members of the House of Representatives would give up their seats because they were unable to work with Yingluck's ruling party.
Protesters have been on the streets of the capital for weeks, clashing with police and vowing to oust Yingluck and eradicate the influence of her self-exiled brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The demonstrations are the latest eruption in nearly a decade of rivalry between forces aligned with the Bangkok-based establishment and those who support Thaksin, a former telecommunications tycoon who won huge support in the countryside with pro-poor policies.
The leader of the anti-government movement, Suthep Thaugsuban, said he would not end his demonstrations.
Suthep, aware that Yingluck would likely win an election if one were called, has been urging the setting-up of a "people's council" of appointed "good people" to replace the government. Yingluck has dismissed the idea as unconstitutional and undemocratic.
Presented by Adam Justice