Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thai PM calls elections as 140,000 join protest

By Anusak Konglang, AFP News
Dec 09 ,2013

Thailand's premier called a snap election Monday to try to defuse the kingdom's political crisis, but protesters vowed to keep up their "people's revolution" as an estimated 140,000 demonstrators flooded the streets of Bangkok.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has faced more than a month of sometimes violent rallies by protesters storming key state buildings in a bid to unseat her government and replace it with an unelected "People's Council".

By dissolving parliament and calling a new election that her party is likely to win, the embattled premier aims to cool public anger without bowing to the demonstrators' demands to suspend the country's democratic system.

Protest leaders, however, said they were not satisfied and pledged to rid Thailand of the influence of her older brother Thaksin Shinawatra, a tycoon-turned-premier who was ousted by royalist generals in a coup seven years ago and lives overseas.

Addressing a cheering crowd from a newly-erected stage near the government headquarters, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban announced plans to set up a parallel government and told supporters they should be prepared to set up camp at the site.

"We will select a people's prime minister and set up a government of the people and a people's assembly to replace parliament," said Suthep, who faces an arrest warrant for insurrection.

Suthep envisioned a body that could redraft the kingdom's laws in preparation for an eventual election after at least eight months.

The political conflict broadly pits a Bangkok-based middle class and royalist elite backed by the military against rural and working-class voters loyal to Thaksin.

His overthrow in 2006 by generals loyal to the king ushered in years of political turmoil and rival street protests by the royalist "Yellow Shirts" and Thaksin's supporters, known as the "Red Shirts".

Thaksin -- who once described Yingluck as his "clone" -- is widely considered the de facto leader of the ruling party, angering his foes.

Pro-Thaksin parties have won every election in more than a decade, while the opposition Democrat Party -- whose MPs resigned en masse Sunday because they could not achieve anything in parliament -- has not won an elected majority in about two decades.

"If this government is deposed, it will be an outcome of a so-called 'people's coup' by the electoral minority," said Thailand expert Thitinan Pongsudhirak.

"We will see more polarisation -- and the makings of a prolonged civil conflict," added Thitinan, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University.

Dozens of people were killed in a military crackdown on mass pro-Thaksin Red Shirt rallies in Bangkok three years ago against the previous government.

If Yingluck is overthrown, "we will see most likely the return of the Red Shirts to Bangkok and when they unleash their wrath this time it will be much more cataclysmic than what we saw in the uprising in 2009-2010," Thitinan said.

Democrat Party officials said Monday they had not yet decided whether to take part in the upcoming election, which must be held within 60 days of the house's dissolution.

'We don't want any more elections'

Around 140,000 people were estimated to have joined the protests, according to the government's Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order, which was set up to deal with the unrest.

"We don't want politics any more -- no elections. Only the protesters can choose the next government. We choose, then the king appoints them," said one demonstrator who did not want to be named.

Yingluck's Puea Thai party said she was likely to be its candidate for prime minister again in the upcoming election, which is due to be held on February 2.

Tensions remain high after several days of street clashes last week when police used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets against rock-throwing demonstrators.

The unrest has left five people dead and more than 200 injured. Authorities have said they would try to avoid fresh confrontation and there were no reports of violence by early evening.

The demonstrations were triggered by an amnesty bill, since dropped by Yingluck's ruling party, which opponents feared would have cleared the way for Thaksin's return.

The former premier went into exile in 2008 to avoid jail for a corruption conviction which he says was politically motivated.


Anonymous said...

Yingluck : "I do whatever it take to bring peace back to the Thai people"

Hun Sen: “I do whatever it take to hang on to power, I don’t care how many Khmer are killed or even Cambodia will disappear after I die.”

Anonymous said...

True,absolutely facts! Why takes Khmer people to long to realising the facts!..Maybe,it will take another 2millions lives in order for all Khmers to wake up smelling the stinky dead's corpses,before they wake up knowing that Hun sen is working for Hanoi to destroys Khmer's race.


Anonymous said...

140,000 demonstrators? Sam Rainsy needs to beg for permission every time to demonstrate even for only about 15,000 demonstrators. This is sad. When Han San says 'no', Sam Rainsy and Khem Sokha would rush to buy flight tickets to get out of the country - CNRP's plan-b strategy. How can you get anything out of this protest when you are acting chicken like that? Take my advice, forget about the useless protests. Instead, come up with strategies to assassinate the CPP top officials one by one.

Anonymous said...

2:52 AM and then?

Anonymous said...

This is how the DUMB Khmer can learn from the Thais. Yingluck won the election, yet the protesters didnt ask for permission.

Ah Hun Sen lost the election, with massive influx of illegal immigrants from Youn on voting day. Then denied investigation into the voting irregularity.

Why do you DUMB Khmer keep asking for permission for protest from an illegitimate government from one party Constitution?

Keep dancing and singing in the park DUMB Khmer.

Anonymous said...

no, there is a slight difference between politics in thailand and politics in cambodia. for example, thailand never experienced or have to go through the killing fields of pol pot's KR regime. cambodia and its people did go through much pains, sufferings and hardship and deaths. thailand did not. so, can't compare thailand with cambodia like this. cambodia and its people said it out loud and clear, we rather look for solutions and dialogue between each other in our cambodia than to follow suit like those hardcore protesters in thailand who don't even respect their own law, let alone the UN law on international treaty, etc. i think cambodia have legitimate excuses compare to thailand's chaotic internal politics. can't compare what cambodia and its people went through in recent history with those of thailand's people! just can't! if thailand and their unruly people want to go that route that cambodia and our people had been there, done that, then that's thailand's problem, not cambodia's. so, know the difference and stop trying to force cambodia and its people to always protest nonstop like those unruly, inexperienced siem unruly people! cambodia is different from thailand, after having gone through pol pot's slaughterhouse! thailand and their people have not! so know cambodia and know thailand, two different political experiences! if some people want cambodia to follow the foot step of thailand, now it not the time, maybe when the generation who lived through pol pot's era passes, that time will be suitable and comparable. until then, hold your thought!

Anonymous said...

8:09 AM

The time is ripe for you when Hun Sen stomps and kicks your head.
It is not ready yet when he stomps and kicks the other people’s head.

Anonymous said...

8:48am, you sounded so impatient! you wanted to rush through because you think the time is ripe now. wise people don't rush through, only the foolish people do that! wise people believe in there are times for everything. if we talk about time, time do not stop. time ties with the cycle of the universe. so, for you to buy time is sad and foolish, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Reread it, I said the time is not ripe for you until “Hun Sen stomps and kicks your head.”

Anonymous said...

9:06am, i don't play with your dirty tricky way. if you want people to understand you, then talk simple and straight forward, no sarcasm nor philosophy is needed! this is not like taking a test to win friendship or something, you know.

Anonymous said...

yes, talk in modern english and modern khmer, no shakespeare! i don't try to figure out what shakespeare is saying, leave that to the old enlgish literature classroom.

Anonymous said...

7:23 AM We Khmer going contribute all the money together and buy a tracker and coffin for your burial at Dr. Hun Xen backyard. After 7 days you raised from dead so make sure you haunt all the Hun Dynasty.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:38 AM
I like to make my post short and straight to the point unlike your long and meaningless post @8:09 AM.
Your answer and mine are different so I leave it to that, so you can use your brain.
you know! really! ok!

Anonymous said...

Thai nation will never at peace as long as Yingluck win the election, the opposition will never win the election, they want to hold to power by un_democratic ways.