The head of the Thai army has warned the current political crisis in the country could “trigger a civil war”.
General Prayuth Chan-ocha has proposed a “people’s assembly”, made up of civilians from all sides, not the leaders, to heal the divisions.
Thailand is facing its most serious political turmoil since 2010.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has called snap elections for February, but has rejected protesters’ demands to resign beforehand.
She won the last polls in 2011, but protesters say her brother – the controversial ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra – remains in charge.
The army has intervened directly in previous political stand-offs, but has so far refused to get involved in the latest dispute between the prime minister and her opponents.
However, Gen Prayuth said on Saturday he was deeply concerned by the latest crisis, saying the divisions were across the country and not just in Bangkok.
“The situation could trigger a civil war,” he told the Bangkok Post.