Top PAD bosses resign en masse

Core bosses of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) announced last night they have quit the movement's leadership, saying they will not make sacrifices unless there are guarantees of long-term results.

Sondhi: Suggested Democrats quit House

Their decision, which was broadcast on the satellite-based ASTV station, came after it became clear Democrat Party MPs would not quit parliament to join a campaign to push for political reforms as had been suggested earlier by one of the PAD leaders Sondhi Limthongkul.

The eight PAD top brass who stepped down last night were: Mr Sondhi, Chamlong Srimuang, Pibhop Dhongchai, Parnthep Pourpongpan, Somkiat Pongpaiboon, Maleerat Kaweka, Sirichai Mai-gnam and Saranyu Wongkrachang.

In their "final statement" issued last night, they said the PAD's "first generation" and "second generation" would no longer lead the movement.

The PAD leaders, who face a number of charges as a result of anti-Thaksin Shinawatra protests, claimed their ability to conduct political activities was being curbed by court orders.

If they were to bring about political reform, they would have to violate those court orders but there were no guarantees that their "sacrifices" would pay off in the long run.

They said the PAD alone was not powerful enough to bring about change. The Democrats, however, have the resources and are not restrained by any court orders, they said, but the Democrats have turned their back on Mr Sondhi's proposal.

By rejecting the PAD's offer, the Democrat Party showed that it was only aiming at discrediting the government and, like other political parties, hoped to use other groups for its own political gains, the statement added.

Democrat list MP Ong-art Klampaibul said on Saturday that his party was ready to listen to the stands of other groups and that it respected the PAD's decision.

The party stood firm on its position that it needed to work within the parliamentary system, he said

At the same time, he added, the Democrats were ready to operate outside of parliament under the rights granted by the law and the constitution.

"The party is confident that it will not follow the suggestion by the PAD to resign and fight on the street, and we think the relationship with PAD members will not be changed," said Mr Ong-art.

"We listen to opinions from friends but we have not yet decided to resign from being MPs because we still have a commitment to work in parliament."

The PAD leaders said the Democrats were a part of the obstacles preventing political reform and they should take responsibility for any consequences that might arise as a result.

However, they insisted the movement itself would carry on and continue to demand justice for PAD supporters treated unfairly as a result of anti-Thaksin protests.

"We ask you to trust that this decision is a strategy that will prove beneficial to the country and the people," the statement said.

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