Reds urged to fight for stalled bill
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra heightened political tensions Saturday by urging his red shirt supporters not to accept what he referred to as another attempt to usurp power from the people.
- Published: 3/06/2012 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
TRUTH SATURDAY: Thousands of red shirt supporters cheer as they listen to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra address them via a video link at Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi. The red shirts celebrated the fifth anniversary of their television programme Truth Today Saturday. PHOTO: APICHIT JINAKUL
In a fiery speech to red shirts gathered at the Thunder Dome, Impact Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi, Thaksin said the Constitution Court's suspension of the charter amendment bill debate was an attempt to destroy the government.
"Are you going to let them steal our power again?" he said via a video link from an undisclosed location.
"We cannot trust the situation now since they still won't play by the rules.
- See also: Pheu Thai blasts Constitution Court
"I had earlier thought reconciliation would happen soon, but it won't."
The red shirts were attending an event to mark the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship's fifth anniversary of their television programme Truth Today.
UDD leaders took the stage to attack the charter court's order and the opposition to the reconciliation bills led by the Democrat Party and the yellow shirt People's Alliance for Democracy.
Thaksin said the Constitution Court's order for the House to suspend vetting of the charter amendment bill marked a new effort to take power back from the people after the 2006 coup that toppled his government.
The charter court on Friday resolved to review complaints over whether the bill was constitutional.
The judges ordered parliament to suspend the deliberation of the bill, scheduled for a third and final reading on Tuesday.
"It now depends on the House speaker [Somsak Kiatsuranont] whether he will follow or defy the court's order," Thaksin said.
He said some people were trying to destroy the Pheu Thai-led government, which had been working hard for the people.
"They should know that hurting Pheu Thai means hurting the Thai people who chose us," Thaksin said. He insisted the 46 billion baht seized from him after the coup had been legally obtained.
The coup-appointed Assets Scrutiny Committee's investigation led to the Supreme Court ruling in 2010 to seize the money after finding the former premier had abused his power to benefit his family's telecom business.
"I had 86 billion baht worth of assets before I entered politics, but they stole 46 billion from me," Thaksin said.
The delay in considering the bill was confirmed by Deputy House Speaker Charoen Chankomon and House of Representatives secretary-general Pitoon Phumhiran Saturday.
On Friday a large number of the bill's opponents rallied outside the parliament, claiming it was intended purely to help Thaksin return home a free man and recoup the 46 billion baht in seized assets.
Government chief whip Udomdej Rattanasathien denied Pheu Thai was trying to push the bill through in haste.
Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit Saturday said postponing this week's House session showed the ruling party was willing to take its time.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra reiterated in her weekly talk programme Saturday that national reconciliation procedures should be ironed out in parliament.
However, she maintained the people's opinions must be considered.
"No one wants to go with what society can't accept," Ms Yingluck said.
The PAD Saturday announced it had cancelled a protest set for Tuesday, but told its yellow shirt supporters to be on standby.
The multi-coloured shirts group also put off a Tuesday gathering but vowed to regroup immediately if the bill is put beore the House.
About the author
- Writer: Post Reporters
- Position: Reporters