BANGKOK — Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Tuesday that she would not resign ahead of national elections set for Feb. 2, while her opponents scorned her declaration and claimed they would appoint their own government in her place.
Yingluck spoke one day after she announced elections — and one day after the leader of a protest group seeking her ouster told his followers to stay in the streets and insisted his movement had a more legitimate right to power than the elected government.
The claim, unbacked by law or control of any state institutions, has nonetheless been taken seriously by protesters and some Thai media.
The protesters accuse Yingluck of serving as a proxy for her billionaire brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who lives in self-imposed exile to avoid jail time for a corruption conviction but still wields immense influence in the country.
Yingluck insisted Tuesday that she would remain the interim head of government until the Feb. 2 elections. "I must do my duty as caretaker prime minister according to the constitution," she said.