The premier stood firm that he won’t resign nor dissolve the House, reiterating that he had to preserve democratic rule and would not resign under pressure.
During Sunday’s special joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate in bid to defuse the political crisis, Democrat Party MPs urged Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to resign, charging the anti-government protests had been prompted by the premier himself, that he had pushed for constitutional amendments and that he had used the state media to attack his political adversaries.
Jurin Laksanavisit of the Democrat Party criticised the premier for allegedly triggering the anti-government protests which culminated in the seizure of Government House by demonstrators led by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) after, the Democrat MP alleged, Mr. Samak had pushed for constitution amendment bids only to do undue favours to his predecessor Thaksin Shinawatra and used state-run NBT television channel only to attack his political opponents.
Mr. Jurin called on Mr. Samak to consider resigning as pressed by the anti-government protests after he had apparently failed to keep varied state enterprises operating at the services of the people such as the State Railways of Thailand (SRT), the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) and Thai Airways International while more state firms would likely follow suit.
The prime minister categorically dismissed the Democrat charges and contended that he had done nothing wrong to deserve being chased from politics by the PAD demonstrators and assured he had instructed the police not to use force to disperse those who have taken over Government House. Nor did the police use tear gas in a bid to disperse the protesters at the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Friday, the premier said.
Mr. Samak commented that the Democrats had taken sides with the PAD which had mobilised people to rise up against the government and illegally seized government premises.
Meanwhile, the PAD which led the anti-government protests, said Sunday’s joint meeting between MPs and senators to defuse the political crisis was merely a waste of time. Suriyasai Katasila, the PAD coordinator, said the anti-government demonstrators who have seized Government House for almost a week were not listening to the lawmakers’ debate as they found it to be useless and unable to defuse the political crisis.
The joint parliamentary session was merely designed to ”launder the wrongdoings” of tne prime minister, he said.
Mr. Suriyasai said the PAD might initiate another round of offensives against the Samak government in the next few days and torch an effigy of the premier.
He said the military might not follow orders from the premier even if he decided to impose emergency rule to quell the anti-government protests.
The PAD activist added that the naming of Pol. Lt-Gen. Jongrak Juthanond as acting Metropolitan Police commissioner in place of Pol. Lt-Gen. Asawin Khwanmuang might spark some violence against the protesters.
Meanwhile, pro-government groups gathering at parliament had dispersed and then marched peacefully to converge at Sanam Luang.
In other developments, union members of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority vowed to take one-day sick leave Monday and threatened to cut water supplies and electricity to all police stations nationwide. (TNA)