Yingluck insists to stay on as caretaker PM

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BANGKOK, Dec 10 – Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today reaffirmed she will continue her duties until a new Cabinet takes office even as anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban gave her a 24-hour deadline to step down from the caretaker premier role, paving the way for the establishment of a ‘people’s council’.

Ms Yingluck held a news conference after chairing a special Cabinet meeting this morning at the Army Club on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road.

Election Commission secretary-general Puchong Nuttrawong informed the Cabinet of election regulations.

The caretaker cabinet also discussed their job descriptions as caretakers, what they can and cannot do under the Constitution, Article 181.

Tearfully, she urged protesters not to blame her Shinawatra family, saying “I have retreated so much that I don’t know how to retreat any further.”

Ms Yingluck however insisted that she will continue as caretaker premier until there is a new cabinet, calling on the Democrat Party to participate in the upcoming election.

Protesters of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, led by Suthep Thaugsuban, today remain encamped around Government House despite the dissolution of the House. Two rally stages have been installed at Chamai Maruchet Bridge and the Nang Lerng area.

Protest leaders Thavorn Senneam and Witthaya Kaewparadai today called on their supporters to join the rally to pressure the caretaker government to respond the protesters’demand for a people’s council. They also urged the anti-graft agency to speed up its consideration of the impeachment petition against 312 MPs and senators who proposed the charter amendment on the composition of the Senate.

Meanwhile, National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanathabutr said the number of protesters decreased this morning, saying most of them understand the rule of law and want to go on with the general election.

The NSC chief said he believes, with less protester turnout, Mr Suthep will prolong rally and try to find a soft landing as the idea of setting of a people’s council cannot be done by law.

He said the army will remain in position at state buildings, while police officers will maintain law and order during this period.