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May 27 Suthep’s latest D-Day

Posted by pakin On May - 17 - 2014

Suthep Thaugsuban has set May 27 as the latest D-Day for his crusade, urging millions of supporters to join him in the “last fight” to oust the government.

The People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) secretary-general said he would turn himself in to police whether he won or lost at the end of his seven-month struggle.

Addressing supporters on Saturday after the Senate refused to appoint an interim prime minister as the PDRC had demanded, the former Democrat Party heavyweight said he would spend one final week trying to achieve his goals.

“It’s a pity the announcement of the senators on Friday couldn’t give a specific time frame [for naming a premier],” said Mr Suthep.

“Unlike them, the people have been in this fight for a long time and they deserve to know when they will succeed.”

Therefore, he said, the PDRC needed to set a clear timetable. The “last mission” will start on Sunday and end on May 26.

The “final battle” just concluded was the 11th declared by Mr Suthep since he began rallying opponents of the Pheu Thai government in October last year.

So far, the Constitutional Court has done what protesters, numbering in the hundreds of thousands at some points, had been unable to do. The charter court judges on May 7 found Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of malfeasance in the transfer of a civil servant and ordered her and nine ministers to step down.

A skeleton cabinet led by Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan is still in office but their ability to administer national affairs is being challenged. An election, meanwhile, is nowhere in sight.

Outlining his plans for the week, Mr Suthep said that at 10am on Sunday, the PDRC would meet with representatives of state enterprise unions to assign duties. Another meeting will be held at 2pm with retired civil servants and retired governors sympathetic to the cause.

The plans would be carried out on Monday, he said, without specifying what the plans were.

In the meantime, he said, PDRC supporters would start to “visit” caretaker cabinet ministers and demand that they resign because they were obstructing the progress of the country.

As well, civil servants would be asked to challenge the authority of ministers by refusing to take their orders.

On Thursday, PDRC leaders intend to meet with the heads of government agencies, permanent secretaries and the attorney general to discuss ways to eradicate the influence of “the Thaksin regime” in their offices.

These events would be followed from Friday to Sunday a “great uprising among the people nationwide”.

“Tuesday [May 27] will determine our victory. If millions of people do not show up on that day, I’ll turn myself in. I’ll give up whether we win or lose. We’ve done the best we can and we’ll accept the outcome,” said Mr Suthep.

“Until then, we’ll dedicate ourselves to this mission and it will end on May 27. We’ve been down this road long enough. This movie has been showing for a long time.”

Mr Suthep had said earlier that if the Senate did not name an interim prime minister by this past Friday, the PDRC would act as soon as Saturday, or perhaps Monday, to assume “sovereign power”.

The Senate has not totally ruled out the possibility of an appointed premier but says it must involve negotiations with all sides in the political debate.

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