Anti-government protesters attack people they suspected of supporting the current Thai government on the bus in Bangkok,Thailand Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) -- After weeks of large anti-government demonstrations in the capital, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved the nation's parliament Monday and called for new elections.
"I don't want our country and the Thai people to suffer from more losses," Yingluck said in a televised address. "I have decided to dissolve the house."
Her announcement came as protesters began marching toward her office, known as Government House, in the latest effort to put pressure on her administration.
A day earlier, Thailand's main opposition party said its roughly 150 members would resign en masse from parliament because they could no longer work with the government.
"This government is no longer justified to run the country, as this house is no longer justified. Today we resign to express that stance," opposition party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said.
Protest leaders have said they want to rid Thailand of the influence of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the older brother of Yingluck. Thaksin, who retains strong support in Thailand's populous countryside, was ousted in a bloodless coup in 2006 and is living in exile in Dubai.
During the weeks of demonstrations, protesters have occupied various government offices. The rallies have been mostly peaceful, but clashes between protesters and government supporters on November 30 left five people dead.
Protesters and police, who had confronted each other with tear gas and rocks in parts of Bangkok last week, agreed to a truce Tuesday in a show of respect for Thailand's revered king, who celebrated his 86th birthday Thursday.