Democrats launch campaign to 'save thai democracy'
As the country's political struggles take on more complexity and intensity, Opposition Democrat heavyweights are teaming up in a campaign against their political opponents, opening political schools and calling on their supporters to fight against Thaksinomics.
Opposition Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday presided over the opening ceremonies of "Democrat political schools" in Sathorn, Bang Korlaem and Yannawa district.
In an opening speech entitled "Major institutions in a democratic system in Thailand's constitutional monarchy", Abhisit said the reason the party decided to launch the political schools was that the country's political fighting had intensified and the objectives of opponents were different from the past. Democracy was being used as a tool for self gain.
"A former PM whom I do not want to name said he does not believe in democracy. His political ideology is a one-party system. This is not democracy but an exploitation of majority for business or self interest. Majority without rules, limitations, boundaries and checks plus freedom of the press is not democracy," he said. He called on Democrat supporters to fight against the move to whitewash those who committed crimes, corruption and serious offences by amending the Constitution.
Democrat Surat Thani MP Suthep Thaugsuban said he had worked separately from Abhisit in the party political campaigns which included opening political schools, organising rallies and using the media.
"Our opponents have red schools, red villages, red TV and they are now in control of every television channel. If we do nothing, the country will be in for a big mess," he said.
Democrat Party chief adviser Chuan Leekpai said the country's biggest political threat was no longer the military, because the institution had grown up and did not want to stage a coup to bring down a democratic government as happened in the past.
"The country has a new political disease since Thaksin has joined politics and bought political parties with majority votes," he said. "Under the Thaksin regime, governments abuse their powers, corruption is so rife the country risks seeing a coup being staged. Besides, there is a move to topple the monarchy with the committing of lese majeste offences," he said.
Chuan said red-shirt activist Surachai Sae Dan had defamed him and later confessed he did not speak the truth, saying he'd repeated only what he had been told to say. "It has been found that every month Bt30,000 is wired into Surachai's bank account," Chuan said.