May 19, 2014 00:00
By Attayuth Bootsripoom
PDRC's final battle will try to create a political vacuum to achieve its goal
The People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and the Senate are obviously adopting the strategy of “take separate paths but join forces in the attack” in a bid to reach a common goal – install an interim government which is fully functional and led by a prime minister with full authority.
Although PDRC chief Suthep Thaugsuban appears to be disappointed with the Senate for failing to immediately nominate a PM when it reconvened last week, he still believes the Senate is the only legitimate organisation left to fulfil his group’s desire of unseating the government.
Senator Kamnoon Sitthisamarn’s recent Facebook comment could be interpreted to mean that the Senate is waiting for the situation to be become even more ripe before calling a session to nominate a new PM.
The Senate boldly declared last week that it was ready to call a session to select the new PM if the situation merited it.
The upper House avoided using the word “PM” based on Article 7 of the Charter, as this idea has been rejected by the government.
The Senate cannot risk committing any action that may result in senators being charged with insurrection, as pointed out by pro-government groups, if they proceed with the installation of an interim government while the caretaker government is still functioning.
Legal experts are split over whether the Senate has the authority to nominate a PM. This may need a Constitutional Court ruling.
Besides, acting Senate Speaker Surachai Liengboonlertchai is still awaiting royal endorsement to legally serve as president of the upper House.
The scenarios cited by the Senate that could lead to a political vacuum are the remaining caretaker Cabinet members resigning and the general election not being held due to legal issues such as a disagreement between the Election Commission and the caretaker government.
In the PDRC’s final battle plan, declared by Suthep on Saturday, the group is apparently resorting to actions that it hopes will bring about a political vacuum by next Monday.
Suthep vowed to dispatch teams to force the remaining 25 Cabinet members to resign. He called on his supporters to locate the ministers and urge them to resign.
“If you see them, even at the airport or any street, please tell them to submit their resignation for the sake of the country,’’ he said.
The State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation, the PDRC’s main ally, reportedly plans to cut off basic infrastructure in targeted spots.
Suthep called on bureaucrats and ministry officials who are PDRC supporters to demonstrate civil disobedience and called a meeting of retired top officials to seek their support in uprooting the Thaksin regime.
He said he would surrender to police to face charges, including murder charges over the 2010 deadly crackdown on red shirts, if the PDRC didn’t achieve victory by next Monday.