Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej faced a fight for his political future on Monday as opposition parties prepared a no-confidence debate in Parliament and thousands of protesters refused to lift their siege of his office.
The no-confidence motion has been brought by the opposition Democrat Party in the wake of four weeks of street protests calling for the government's resignation.
Demonstrators, led by activists of the People's Alliance for Democracy, occupied the area around Government House, the seat of Thailand's government, on Friday after breaking through a police cordon.
The Senate was scheduled to begin a debate on the crisis today. The more powerful lower house of Parliament was to take up the no-confidence motion targeting Samak and his cabinet on Tuesday and vote on the measure Thursday.
"The senators will expose the wrongdoing of this government, to make the public aware that this government has lost legitimacy in running the country," Somchai Sawaengkan, one of 36 senators to grill the government, told The Associated Press.
In a nationwide address on government television, the embattled prime minister said he would resign if the vote went against him.
Samak's People's Power Party, whose members include many allies of military coup-ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, heads a six-party government coalition that controls about two-thirds of the 480 seats in the lower house of Parliament.