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Pattaya Daily News

07 September 2008 :: 20:09:03 pm 42746

Protest Coalition Vows to Continue Until Pm Samak Resigns

BANGKOK, Sept 7 - Thailand‘s anti-government People‘s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), still filled with energy, occupying Government House and pressing Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to resign, has vowed again to not come to the negotating table with any party unless Mr. Samak steps down first, Senate Speaker Prasopsuk Bundej said Sunday.
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Mr. Prasopsuk said he will meet with House Speaker Chai Chidchob and Opposition Leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, Democrat Party leader Monday as part of his sustained bid to defuse the political crisis.

However, he said the PAD’s ultimatum to the premier leaves no room for manoeuver, and that Mr. Samakhimself has categorically refused to step down, but instead insisted on staying on “to maintain democratic rule”.

People Power Party (PPP, the party leading the government coalition) spokesman Kuthep Saikrachang said his colleagues had found the activist ultimatum “unacceptable” and that “nobody should negotiate on such an unlawful basis” as that raised by the PAD under the “dictatorial” Chamlong Srimuang.

The token planting of rice in such an unlikely paddy field as the much-trampled — perhaps even bog-like — lawn of the Thai Khu Fa building in the Government House compound by PAD farmers from upcountry was merely a news-making gimmick, Mr. Kuthep commented.

The ruling party’s spokesman reassured the public that the elected premier will by no means resign under pressure, nor will he choose to dissolve the House of Representatives. The PPP spokesman warned that such an action might lead to an interim amending of the constitution by the remaining “rump” Senate to the extent that a future premier may not have to be elected in future.

Roughly half of Thailand’s 150 senators were appointed by a panel of heads of independent agencies, as contrasted to the other half, who were elected by the people.

Mr. Kuthep said the appointed senators might push for an unelected premier if Mr. Samak dissolved the House of Representatives with the intention of a general election in 60 days. The PPP has named Deputy Prime Minister/Education Minister Somchai Wongsawat to head the party’s strategic team to defuse the political crisis.

Mr. Kuthep dismissed criticism that his party colleagues had expressed dissatisfaction with the handling of the state of emergency by Army chief Gen. Anupong Paochinda and that a former Democrat Party candidate, defeated in the last general election, was seen standing behind a recent night-time rally of about 100 anti-government students protesting at the premier’s home. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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