Caretaker PM vows to die for democracy than tearing charter


CHIANG MAI, Feb 28 – Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said today that she would rather die in the name of democracy than tearing the Constitution.

She said it is her duty to preserve democracy and create confidence in the international community in (her) following the democratic framework.

“As the leader of the government, I can’t tell other countries that I won’t preserve democracy. Whoever is in my position will perform a similar duty without allowing anyone to tear the Constitution,” she said.

Ms Yingluck, who has been away from Bangkok staying in the North for a few days, stood firm that negotiations with protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban must be attended by other parties, and not held on a one-on-one basis as demanded by the former Democrat MP.

Mr Suthep challenged Ms Yingluck for a verbal duel to be broadcast live.

The prime minister said other parties must attend the dialogue which should have a negotiation framework in accord with the Constitution and democratic principle.

She added, “If Mr Suthep agrees, then we can talk. I hope Mr Suthep will jointly find resolutions for the country without a precondition for a debate, otherwise it will be endless. Without sincerity, problems will never be solved. Mediators will help in connecting things together.”

She said talks must be held under the regulation, legal and constitutional framework and problems would be solved should Mr Suthep agree with the guideline.

“How can we talk if regulations are not followed? If Mr Suthep sets conditions for everything, it’s difficult to move on. That’s why we need others to jointly solve the problems.

“I have to say it again and again for I have to preserve democracy. As defence minister, (I found that) soldiers must to take responsibility until the last minute, or until they die in the battle field. I’d rather die today in the field of democracy than tearing up the Constitution.”

She said she could not decide alone as it would be against the democratic principle of which a decision must be made by people in the entire nation.

Mr Suthep said the negotiation would not be a debate and his proposal for a one-on-one dialogue with live telecast was intended to keep both sides informed.

“It’s impossible to call off rallies before talks begin. The purpose of protest is to oust the government. It’s not necessary for the prime minister to say the negotiation must be made in the constitutional framework. If the government accepts the constitutional framework, it would not oppose independent agencies under the Constitution as it did,” he said.

He said he would only say yes or no during the talks which would neither be a rhetoric nor debate but “we will continue our fight if the prime minister sets preconditions.”