About 2,500 people marched in Bangkok on December 19 in an effort to force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down in response to protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban.

The demonstrators called on others to join a big rally slated for December 22 that they say will paralyse the capital.

However, the number of protestors was well down from the huge demonstrations of the last few weeks which prompted the Prime Minister to call the snap election for February.

On December 17, Suthep announced that the anti-government protesters would rally on December 19 and 20 before another mass demonstration on December 22 to pressure PM Yingluck to resign.

Yingluck, however, reiterated that she would not resign, but would continue working until the mission to coordinate with the Election Commission to hold a free and fair general election on February 2 is complete.

The same day, the Thai Election Commission recommended the upcoming election be postponed because of fears of further unrest. It also called on the Government and demonstrators to hold talks, in an attempt to solve the ongoing political crisis.

The commission has set December 23-27 for the registration of candidates in the Party list system and December 28 - January 1 for candidates running in constituencies.

Leader of the Puea Thai Party Charupong Ruangsuwan said the Party is ready for the election following the House’s dissolution with 500 candidates in the Party list and more than 400 others in constituencies.

Meanwhile, Democrat Party officials said they have not yet decided whether to take part in the upcoming election, which must be held within 60 days of the House’s dissolution.

Supreme Commander Thanasak Patimaprakorn said on December 18 that the military supports the calling of a general election and is ready to deploy troops to help oversee it if asked.-VNA