Thailand unrest: Opposition MPs pledge to resign

 

Abhisit Vejjajiva, leader of the Democrat Party of Thailand: "We no longer want to be part of this House of Representatives"

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Thailand's opposition MPs are to resign en masse, officials say, after weeks of anti-government protests in Bangkok.

Opposition-backed street protesters have been trying to oust PM Yingluck Shinawatra, saying she is controlled by her brother, former PM Thaksin.

Protest leader Suthep Thauksuban, a former deputy PM, has rejected dialogue and called for a final push to overthrow the government on Monday.

Ms Yingluck has proposed a referendum on the country's political crisis.

She repeated that she was ready to dissolve parliament and hold fresh elections if agreement could be reached with her opponents.

The protesters want Ms Yingluck's current government to step down and be replaced by an unelected "People's Council".

They allege that her government is controlled by her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is in self-imposed exile after he was overthrown in a military army coup in 2006 and convicted of corruption.

Final push

All 153 MPs of the main opposition Democrat party, Thailand's oldest, will resign.

A Thai policeman stands next to concrete barricades outside the gates of the prime minister's office, known as Government House, in Bangkok, Thailand The Thai prime minister has faced weeks of anti-government protests

They hold just under one third of the seats in the 500-seat parliament, where the the governing Pheu Thai party has a commanding majority.

"We decided to quit as MPs to march with the people against the Thaksin regime," Democrat Party MP Sirichok Sopha said in televised remarks.

Bangkok MP Sansern Samalapa wrote on his Facebook page: "The resignation en masse is intended to deny the parliamentary system of the Thaksin regime, which has run out of legitimacy, and we have fully performed the duty of the opposition."

Mr Suthep, a former Democrat MP, is calling Monday's final-push protest a last-ditch attempt to overthrow Ms Yingluck's government. Protesters say huge rallies will converge on Government House from nine directions.

If he fails, he says he will hand himself in to the police, who have issued an arrest warrant for him.

The government, despite all the criticisms made of it, still holds a clear majority in parliament, and is likely to win another election, its sixth in succession, if the prime minister does decide to call one, says the BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok.

 

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  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 45.

    yes the current Thaksin controlled Goverment keeps winning elections , thats because the poor who they claim to champion and vote them into power are hooked on handouts . These handout are designed to keep the poor poor and to be open to corruption.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 44.

    Thailand is somewhat of a unique country. Its neighbors was never subject to colonial rule, has vehemently resisted communism and still worship its king as a god. Corruption is simply a way of life and the country would more than likely, due to the excessive bureaucracy, simply grind to a halt without it. You just can't compare it's people & its simplistic political system with that of the west.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 40.

    It appears from this article that the opposition are unhappy with the government and in order to prove this, they will resign and so cease to be an opposition, allowing the government to do exactly as it pleases.
    Monty Python is alive and well and practising politics in Thailand then.
    I wonder what it would take for the population of this planet to grow up?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 34.

    This isn't about red shirts vs. yellow shirts any more, it's about a corrupt red-shirt government vs. ordinary people who are sick of their government's efforts to get amnesty for the PM's corrupt brother who's free to come back to the country any time for his day in court. Resigning en-masse is a way of forcing the government's hand. The cult that is Thaksin is like a cancer in this country.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 11.

    In essence this is a fight (in-fighting) amongst factions of the ruling elite. One side - the Democrats - feels if they can't win an election they must crab power for themselves by hook or by crook. The welfare of the Thai people doesn't really enter into the equation on either side. Suthep’s CV is no better than Thaksin’s

 

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