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Pheu Thai lambasts Abhisit proposal

Posted by pakin On May - 7 - 2014

Pheu Thai lambasts Abhisit proposal.

The Pheu Thai Party yesterday rejected Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva’s plan for reform, coming up with its own plan, and promising a July 20 election.

In its statement, read by Pheu Thai strategist Bhokin Bhalakula, the party said only an election and justice would provide a solution to the country’s political crisis.

Mr Bhokin said the July 20 poll should go ahead, with parties proposing reform agendas in their campaigns leading up to the election.

After the election, all parties concerned would have to ensure the passage of a law to establish a body to work on reform plans. When ready, the plans would be put up for a referendum. Under the proposal, the new government would be in office for no more than 12 months after the July election.

The statement said the party was full of hope when Mr Abhisit first floated his plan embracing political reform as part of elections.

However, when the Democrat leader went into detail, Pheu Thai found his proposal “confusing, insincere, undemocratic and not compliant with the charter”.

Mr Abhisit’s plan calls for a delay in issuing a royal decree to set the date for the election, and the resignation of caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to pave the way for an interim neutral government chosen by the Senate speaker.

Mr Bhokin insisted the resignation of Ms Yingluck is out of question because she left office after the Housedissolution in December last year.

She remains in a caretaker role as required by the charter, until a new cabinet is in place.

Mr Bhokin said the appointment of an interim neutral government is not within the constitution, pointing out the charter makes it clear that only the House of Representatives is authorised to nominate and elect a prime minister.

Mr Abhisit’s plan for the Senate speaker to intervene in the House’s affairs constitutes an attempt to unconstitutionally seize power, he said.

The Pheu Thai strategist said the proposal was inappropriate and is similar to anti-government protesters’ call for an interim prime minister during the political crisis prior to the Sept 19, 2006 coup.

He also said Mr Abhisit’s remark that the future of the country lies in the hands of Ms Yingluck shows he favours the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), which has been calling for her to step aside for months.

He said the prime minister does not have exclusive power to issue a royal decree on the election. She needs to work with the cabinet ministers and the Election Commission.

Mr Bhokin said political developments over the past months suggest a conspiracy by the PDRC and some public independent organisations to undermine the democratic system.

A ruling by the Constitution Court in the Thawil Pliensri case, the reaction of the Election Commission towards Mr Abhisit’s proposed poll delay, and the military’s role should all be monitored, he said.

Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut yesterday expressed regret over Pheu Thai’s rejection of Mr Abhisit’s proposal.

He said the party was attempting to mislead the public about the political situation and that the claim Mr Abhisit’s plan is not in line with the charter is untrue.

“That the cabinet can’t resign [because it is already out of office] isn’t true. The cabinet ministers have the right to do so. What if the whole cabinet died in a plane crash?”

“The claim that the House Speaker must be consulted on a referendum is also untrue. Section 165 uses ‘may’, not ‘must’,” he said, referring to Pheu Thai’s argument that Mr Abhisit’s referendum can not be carried out since there is no House Speaker.

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