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
    -1

    Comment number 129.

    Just like France 2010 World Cup team, the undemocratic Democrat sore losers will most probably crawl back to parliament when they realise that they have become an international joke, even jeered by their own supporters.

    And like France 2010 World Cup team, the Democrat can then be properly thrashed by opposing team and kicked out of parliament, according to the game rules.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 128.

    So when the poor win an election, the rich monarchists and comfortable middle classes demand their overthrow, and the military standby, wearing kid gloves.
    When the rich get control by military coup, and the poor protest, they are murdered. Quite logical really.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 127.

    Oh come on! The yellow shirt apologists on here bleating about vote buying are clutching at straws. Again, in the interest of balance, let's look at the dodgy tactics of the oh so saintly yellows. This week they've been paying southerners 1000 baht to be bused up to Bangkok to join the "People's" protest. On arrival these people have had their id cards held by protest leaders. Suthep is barking.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 126.

    The undemocrat Democrat sore losers are learning this dirty trick from France 2010 World Cup team: Quit playing when you know that you cannot win in elections and are going to be thrashed.

    France should also learn from the Democrat crybaby: beg to the unplayable “FIFA Council” to disqualify other teams in their group and appoint them as the winner, and perhaps even the 2010 World champion.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 125.

    Democracy means 1 eligible voter 1 vote. In Thailand, if you live in the North, Chiangmai for examole, you will feel how passionate the people are about the government. This silent majority have been very patient. Farm lobbies in most western countries are very powerful. Politicians who ignor them have only themselves to blame. The problem is the Democrats cannot win any election on their own.

  • Comment number 124.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 123.

    There seems to be a lot of comments dismissing the citizens of the rural north as ill educated and easily led. It is fool who underestimates their strength of mind and passion for decency. The emerging generation have a greater awareness of technology and it shall be interesting to see how this affects the country's economical and political dynamics.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 122.

    The Thai opposition MP's really do seem to be all in it together.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 121.

    Corruption in South East Asia is pretty much the norm with many keeping a lid on dissent via dominant regimes. The democratic process is young in this part of the world and it must be born in mind that it took many years for Western governments to conceal and repackage corruption and keep the population rich and ignorant enough not to make too much of a fuss about it!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 120.

    Yingluck won election because of vote buying by Thaksin' s clan, I had actually seen it with my own eyes in 2011 election, thousands from villages in the North were lining up for handout money ranging from 20 to 1,500 bahts from Thaksin's people. This is why millions of Thais have been perceiving Yingluck's government as a corrupt and illegitimate democracy-government that must be dissolved.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 119.

    Democracy is not a thing of Convenience. It entitles Opposition to resign but does not entitle them to waltz back in. Next Election is time for that.
    Thailand is suffering from Minority in Bangkok feeling entitled to Lord-It over Majority in rest of the Country, and that suggest it is time to decentralise Governance away from the Capital. Share-the-Wealth or be Dictatorship the Opposition wants.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 118.

    Well tonights (here in UK night) social media news is that the yellow shirts are going to setting fire to any cars stuck in traffic in Thai morning. So lets see. If this turns out to be case will BBC and other western news agencies start waking up? This is hear say, lets see.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 117.

    The Thai elites think that only their opinion should count. In other words, when they say the "people's council" instead of elections, they really mean "their people". The poor are too stupid, easily bought, corrupt etc. etc. and anyone who doesn't agree with them doesn't know what they are talking about. History has a long list of thugs like these.

  • rate this
    -7

    Comment number 116.

    We should all mourn Mandela - so says the BBC, why do you discuss "Thai Opposition MPs pledge to resign"?

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 115.

    This has nothing to do with me; but working poverty does. I suppose BBC journalists freely fly around the world and think everyone else does.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 114.

    Democracy is NO easy matter and living in one is for about 49,99% not their cup of tea & the rest 50,01% just love it. No easy matter, just get used to it.
    ps. Tell our Chinese friend about these rules- maybe they should have a go at it!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 113.

    107.

    "Taksin stole milllions "

    Billions actually.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 112.

    Why does the side that keeps losing elections claims that the people are on their side. I guess they are not counting the majority, which is why they want a "people's council", which in practice is "their people". Sound like a bunch of thugs who don't want democracy.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 111.

    I'm not sure the PTP would win an election if it were to be called straight away which is why Yingluck says 2 months. One thing it would do either way is trash the amnesty bill aimed at getting Thaksin back. Right now it is sitting on the back burner and can be resurrected in some 160 days without having to go to the Senate who threw it out. It is this that started the protests.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 110.

    If only our MP's were as 'concerned' about Democracy and fair play, and not so much 'concerned' about lining their own pockets. MP's should have one job, and ONE JOB ONLY, being an MP. This shower we have at the moment lives on another planet to us normal folks..

 

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