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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  • Comment number 29.

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

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 28.

    Oh, for a minute there I thought it was our opposition MP's who were about to resign en-masse, I even nipped myself to make sure I was awake.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 27.

    This is not about which political party or PM leads Thailand.

    This is about whether the military can continue to run Thailand with the support of the Democrat Party and other associated "glittery branding".

    We are at the end game where Thailand has to chose between military and civilian rule.

  • Comment number 26.

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

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 25.

    Thailand is complicit with US' neo-imperial ambition to sustain American hegemony across Asia (especially China).
    Thaksin Shinawatra was groomed to fulfill this role = money, time, & effort has poured in to prop him up, while destroying Thailand’s existing indigenous institutions.
    Many Thai justifiably find (pro-western) Thaksin & division he has created - unacceptable.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 24.

    I agree with John A Gregory to a point, but as it has been explained by my Thai partner there is indeed money offered to the voters to vote for the party offering. But what not everyone may be aware of is they may take the money but they still vote for the party they want to win. So all the money pumped in to vote winning is just a waste of money. But puts smiles on some peoples faces :-)

  • rate this
    -7

    Comment number 23.

    This government bought its way in - money handouts & 'too good to be true' offers that the poorer majority bought into (e.g. rice scheme, ipads for students, credit for farmers). And PM Yingluck is the sister of a convicted criminal. Anti-gov protesters are not all elite and middle class. And Suthep - as someone said to me 'sometimes it takes a bad guy to fight a bad guy'

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 22.

    This is a fight between old money and new money. It's as simple as that.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 21.

    I agree with Amazed. Corruption is a big problem in Thailand as it is in over parts of the world. I believe that both Thaksin and now Yingluck are both anti corruption and pro rule of law but it is very hard to stop corruption when the police and other official sectors including the Senate rely and make their fortune through corruption. These sectors are very scared about loosing the status quo

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 20.

    Thaksin Shinwatra was appointed by CARLYLE Group as Thai adviser.
    Thanong Khanthong (Thailand’s English newspaper) 2001: In April 1998, Thaksin used American connections to boost his formation of Thai Rak Thai Party, saying blatantly his mission was matchmaking between US EQUITY FUNDS & Thai businesses.
    Cost - commit Thai troops to US invasion of Iraq, allow CIA to use Thailand for rendition.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 19.

    There will be no winner in this war of classes. Only the King has the power to stop this before he is blessed to the heavens.

    I personally would like to see a thailand that is fair & equal to all walks of life regardless of Budhist/ Christian/muslim beliefs.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 18.

    West has backed protests against other govts it said were corrupt & despotic? But unlike Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Libya & elsewhere where West has backed protests, current Thai Govt serves corporate interests of Wall Street & London. Western media portrays current Thai Govt as “elected,” & “democratic” while Thaksin Shinawatra’s egregious crimes are buried in articles, or not mentioned.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 17.

    Having lived and worked in Bangkok for well over 10 years, I can assure all readers that politics over here is corrupt, the problem being is that it affects all the major players or political parties. Corruption is rife and one only has to watch the police and tourist police to witness this. What tomorrows "D" day will bring is just more unrest irrespective of who may claim to be the winners.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 16.

    Hucks comment is typical of the lies that yellow shirts use openly to persuade others to join them.

    There is no evidence at all that the red shirts have been doing any killing and complete opposite is true. There is plenty of evidence showing red shirts being attacked by yellows especially out side the national stadium last week. Yellows throwing missiles at buses and so on.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 15.

    When has a revolution ever been good for a country
    France, Russia or more recently Egypt and Libya!
    Overthrowing a government that is elected by the people just because you disagree with it is not good!
    Some places don,t do democracy do they!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 14.

    Huck is misinformed by a rabidly one sided press and would prefer fascism to anything preferred by the majority of the Thai population. Perhaps Huck would comment as to why not a single yellow shirt/democrat has ever seen prison time despite killing policemen, committing treason, closing airports etc. Why also do the people refuse to vote for the oddly named Democrats?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 13.

    Spot on wilko This is all about a now ex-Deputy Prime Minister coming to the end of his political career (hopefully tomorrow!!) who is determined to rule Thailand as a dictator through the unelected "Peoples Council"
    A recent poll published in "The Nation" today shows less than 30% of Thais think that tomorrows "mega Rally" will bring about improvements.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 12.

    Again Thaksin s followers have used live ammunition, the same as when 90 people died a few years ago. This Thaksin regime has to go, they are violent, corrupt and not very smart, and only out to ruin Thailand for ever.

  • 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

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 10.

    The unelected minority (yellow shirts) - mostly from the upper classes, are trying to push out the legally elected government (red shirts) - who were elected by the majority (many still living in medieval conditions) and who have introduced a basic health service etc.

 

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