Suthep admits battle in House can't be won

Suthep admits battle in House can't be won

The opposition Democrat Party is gathering support outside of parliament to aid its fight against the constitutional amendment and reconciliation bills.

Suthep: Championing checks and balances

Democrat Suthep Thaugsuban, who has led rallies for this purpose told Bangkok Post reporters PRADIT RUANGDIT and MANOP THIP-OSOD about the movement which he said aims to thwart attempts to whitewash ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's wrongdoings and change administrative rules.

Why are the Democrats forming a movement outside of parliament when you have always adhered to the parliamentary system?

Politics is not what it was in the past. At most, it used to be fights against juntas and injustice and for more rights for people. Today, politics has changed. Politicians and political groups try to achieve absolute political power. They want absolute power for political efficiency but that is against our belief in the constitutional monarchy. They want to gain absolute power by any means. This is the goal of Thaksin Shinawatra. He became a billionaire via monopolistic businesses and he is only satisfied with absolute political power.

We oppose this because all parties should participate in politics. People and institutions should be able to hold the government accountable and keep it in check. There must be checks and balances.

Meanwhile, former Communist Party members are moving to turn Thailand into a republic run by a single political party. This may go along with Thaksin's intention. Both have joined forces and are threatening the Thai people and Thailand.

Do you admit that you cannot carry on the fight in parliament?

I admit that. The parliament president has become irrational and already ignores righteousness. He always decides in favour of what they [government and its allies] want. This is a danger when the majority ignores righteousness and reason.

What drives your party to campaign outside of parliament?

We see two dangers that threaten the nation. One is that they will draft a new constitution. We think they want the prime minister to have absolute power and control the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. Lack of control over the judiciary is their weak point because what they have done is against the law and the judiciary can take action against them.

In some drafts, they empower parliament to approve the appointment of the Supreme Court president. Independent institutions will surely be restructured. This will deprive people of institutions providing checks and balances. There will be nothing to protect people's rights.

The other thing that drives us to move outside of parliament is "reconciliation" bills which are in fact intended to whitewash the wrongdoings of Thaksin and his associates. This will undermine the rule of law and severely damage the nation's legal system.

The Democrat Party must go to the people of this country to tell them of the truth. Many are unaware of what is going on. We are setting up stages to tell them and urge them to fight.

What is the ultimate goal of your movement?

We do not want to overthrow the government. We will not mind if Pheu Thai wins another election and Ms Yingluck Shinawatra stays as prime minister for a new term. If the government, Pheu Thai and the red shirt network stop pushing for the "reconciliation bills" and trying to change the constitution to restructure the administrative system, we will stop our movement.

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