Ruling bloc holds on tightly after Democrat MPs resign en masse


BANGKOK, Dec 9 – The government bloc has vowed to stay together to perform its duty in the House of Representatives despite the mass resignations of opposition Democrat MPs.

Charupong Ruangsuwan, interior minister and leader of the ruling Pheu Thai Party, said yesterday that MPs in the government faction supported Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s latest offer for a House dissolution on the condition that a general election must be held in 60 days as stipulated by the Constitution.

Ms Yingluck also proposed a public referendum to enable the majority of Thai people to make their own decisions and recommendations for a fair and clean election.

Mr Charupong said resolution of the country’s political conflicts must be based on the law while the government’s resignation and House dissolution must be made on the lines of the premier’s statement.

Mr Charupong yesterday met urgently meeting with leaders of political parties in the government bloc including Chat Thai Pattana, Chart Pattana and Phalang Chon.

Urging protesters to rally peacefully at Government House today, the interior minister said police would be equipped with shields and batons during their peace-keeping duties, and would use tear gas only when necessary.

Mr Charupong said the Election Commission will be responsible for by-elections following the mass resignations of Democrat MPs – a manoeuvering which he described as “an attempt to create a vacuum in the political system.”

“Political parties in the government bloc are holding tightly and stand firm on abiding by the prime minister’s proposals,” he said.

Banharn Silapa-acha, Chat Thai Pattana chief adviser, said anti-government protesters must compromise instead of merely aiming for victory.

He said the House of Representatives could carry on its duty despite the resignations of all Democrat MPs since the remaining MPs are more than half of the entire House.