Dems to sue Surapong for 'non-elected govt' claim

Dems to sue Surapong for 'non-elected govt' claim

The Democrat Party will file a defamation lawsuit against Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul for calling the previous Democrat-led administration a "non-elected government".

Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said yesterday Mr Surapong lied and cast a slur on the party when he said the international community was aware Abhisit Vejjajiva's administration was a non-elected government.

He said Mr Surapong told a "shameful lie" and accused him of employing dirty political tactics.

The opposition member said his party would take all possible legal actions against Mr Surapong.

Mr Chavanond was referring to media statements by Mr Surapong on Saturday to counter public criticisms of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's speech at the Conference of the Community of Democracies in Mongolia last Monday.

Mr Chavanond said Ms Yingluck's speech benefitted her but tarnished Thailand's reputation.

In the speech, she referred to people killed in the red-shirt protests against the Abhisit government in 2010 as "fighters for democracy".

Mr Chavanond said Ms Yingluck had joined the red-shirt protest herself and she should apologise to the families of some of the dead. He cited the examples of Gen Romklao Thuwatham, who led soldiers to handle protesters, and civilian Thanatnant Thaepthong, who was killed on Silom Road but was not involved in the demonstration.

He said Ms Yingluck tried to build a positive image for her elder brother and former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in an international forum but failed to mention his corruption convictions and what Mr Chavanond called attempts by Thaksin to instigate unrest via video calls to his red-shirt supporters.

Mr Chavanond also criticised Ms Yingluck for accusing independent organisations formed under the constitution of abusing their power and creating a non-democratic atmosphere.

He said Ms Yingluck's comments constituted severe misconduct as she had lied about the country and insulted the highest law. The prime minister's "lies" affected the confidence of investors and tourists as they might be misled into thinking Thailand was not democratic.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit said the Democrats were trying to discredit Ms Yingluck. He said the Democrat Party may face legal action if its remarks damaged Ms Yingluck.

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