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Interview: Call for an unelected government tantamount to a coup: Thai academic

English.news.cn   2013-12-12 17:53:30            

by Surasak Tumcharoen

BANGKOK, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The creation of an unelected government in place of duly-elected government of Prime Minister Yingluck Sinawatra is tantamount to a coup d'etat, according to a noted academic here.

Thammasat University's political scientist Prachak Kongkirati said on Thursday that the demand of the People's Committee for Absolute Democracy, the official name of the anti-government protesters headed by former Deputy Premier Suthep Thaugsuban, for the setting up of the "people's council" and a subsequent naming of an unelected prime minister in place of the present government would cost of the country's democratic rule.

"Such demand is akin to some kind of a coup d'etat against the elected government. That is obviously implausible and against the country's 2007 constitution," said Prachak, who has joined the Assembly for the Defense of Democracy, a newly-formed group of Thai independent academics.

The Thammasat political scientist suggested that all parties allow the country to pursue the course of electoral democracy with the nationwide election scheduled on February 2.

"No such thing as the protesters' calls for an unelected head of government or any unelected body should stand in the way of the upcoming election," he said.

Suthep, for whom an arrest warrant has already been issued on rebellion charges, insisted that Yingluck and all members of her caretaker government should step down so that an unelected premier and "transitional" government would take their place and put the country on the path of "national reforms."

The lady premier, who dissolved parliament and called a snap election on Monday, has cited provisions of the constitution which call for the caretaker government to run the country until a new Cabinet is set up by the government that would win in the election.

"All parties are advised to adhere to electoral democracy which should prevail over all other rules, including the one pushed by those protesters," Prachak said.

On Thursday, Suthep refused to appear in court to defend against a criminal complaint filed against him in connection with the 2010 army crackdown on Red Shirt protesters in 2010 in which nearly 100 people were killed and about 2,000 others injured. He has repeatedly urged military leaders to depose the Yingluck caretaker government, which, he said, is "no longer justified to rule" even on a temporary basis.

Suthep has desperately threatened and coaxed the powerful military to lend a helping hand to the protesters by forcing Yingluck to relinquish her role as a caretaker prime minister.

Buy Army Chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha has dismissed speculations that he or any member of the top brass might stage a coup in the wake of the present public unrest.

Gen. Prayuth has unequivocably said that the military would strictly abide by the rule of law in performing its duty and would never take side in the present political conflict.

Editor: Hou Qiang
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