Political protests continue in Thailand, where opposition groups are demanding that Yingluck Shinawatra resign immediately as Prime Minister and not stand for re-election. She rejected those demands, but has dissolved parliament and called new elections, now set for February. As a longtime friend of the Thai people, the United States is following the situation closely.
Once merely boisterous, over the last two weeks the protests turned violent with five people killed and more than 300 wounded during occupations of government buildings and other confrontations. Clashes between Thailand’s two major political blocs resulted in a State of Emergency in 2008. Protestors briefly seized Bangkok’s international airport, interrupting trade and seriously hurting tourism.
The United States strongly supports democratic institutions and the democratic process in Thailand. As planning proceeds for the February vote, the United States encourages all involved to resolve political differences peacefully and democratically in a way that reflects the will of the Thai people and strengthens the rule of law.