Thai PM Offers Referendum on Resignation

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks during an interview with foreign media at Government House in Bangkok on Dec. 7, 2013. /AP Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks during an interview with foreign media at Government House in Bangkok on Dec. 7, 2013. /AP

Thailand's prime minister says she is willing to hold a referendum to end the political crisis paralyzing the country and will resign if the vote goes against her.

However, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Sunday that she would call the election only if protesters seeking her overthrow accepted the results.

Opposition Democratic Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, a former prime minister, questioned the offer and said Sunday that his party's lawmakers would resign from parliament en masse effective immediately.

Opposition leaders have said they would not rest until Yingluck quit and turn over control to an unelected council.

At least four people have been killed and many wounded in recent protests. The demonstrations were triggered several weeks ago by an amnesty bill that would have allowed former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return home and avoid a two-year jail term for corruption.

The Senate rejected the bill, but protests have continued.

Thaksin, Prime Minister Yingluck's billionaire brother, was ousted in a 2006 military coup.

The conflict pits Bangkok's urban middle class and royalist elite against the mostly poor, rural supporters of Yingluck and Thaksin.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

VOA News / Dec. 09, 2013 08:14 KST