BANGKOK, 7 February 2014 Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has responded to the demand by former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula for her to step down, saying doing so is not permitted by the Constitution.
Commenting on MR Pridiyathorn’s letter calling for her to give up her status as caretaker prime minister due to her failed administration and allow for her replacement by a neutral individual, Ms Yingluck insisted that such a conduct was not stipulated in the Constitution and, therefore, would not be feasible. She claimed that her persistence to remain in the premier’s seat was to prevent those who were seeking to gain unconstitutional power from being successful at their attempt.
Regarding rice farmers who had not received their money under the rice pledging scheme, Ms Yingluck assured that all of them would be paid, given the Commerce Ministry, the Finance Ministry and related units had been instructed to solve payment problems in an urgent manner. She reiterated that the government would not abandon the farmers but there were legal limitations to the government’s power during its caretaker period.
The Prime Minister asked for more time and sympathy while saying if the farmers could not be reimbursed within this administration, they would certainly be in the next.