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Thai gov't urges protest leader to surrender for talks

English.news.cn   2013-12-04 22:04:08            

BANGKOK, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Thai government on Wednesday pressed core protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban to surrender to pave way for talks on his "political agenda".

According to Surapong, deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, officials would be breaching Section 114 of the Criminal Code and face up to 15 years in jail if they talk to the former Democrat legislator, who is currently wanted under two arrest warrants on insurrection charges for leading protesters to occupy government premises.

Suthep, who acts as secretary-general of the newly-founded People's Democratic Reform Committee, had earlier refused to turn himself in to the police.

The anti-government movement, which sparked the biggest street protests in the Thai capital since 2010, demands the overthrowing of the government led by Yingluck Shinawatra, who is accused by the protesters of serving the interest of deposed and self-exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

Vowing to overthrow the so-called Thakisn's regime, Suthep has suggested to invoke Section three and Section seven of the Constitution to oust the incumbent government and overhaul the whole legislative system, including a "people's council" formed by representatives of all walks of life and a royal-appointed interim prime minister.

Dismissing the proposal as "a figment of imagination," Surapong said the government stands ready to listen to the protest leader's ideas "within the scope of democracy and constitution."

Earlier on Wednesday, Charupong Ruangsuwan, leader of the ruling Pheu Thai Party and Interior Minister, also rejected Suthep 's proposal as unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, as head of the government's Center for Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), Surapong said he believed the protests would continue after the king's birthday, which falls on Thursday, and therefore barriers at protest target sites and the Internal Security Act (ISA) should remain in place.


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Editor: Lu Hui
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