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Opinions differ on "interim government"

A leader of the anti-government protesters on Monday demanded that the government immediately relinquish its administrative power after House dissolution, amidst differing opinions on the status of the interim government.

Sathit Wongnongtoey, former Democrat MP and a core protest leader, told Thai PBS, "The government has no choice as the government caused this chaos. It’s what the people want and this is why there’s an uprising."

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced Monday that the House would be dissolved.

Charupong Ruangsuwan, Pheu Thai Party leader and interior minister, told the TV station that Article 181 of the Constitution’s Article stipulates that after House dissolution, the current government must be in charge until the next government is formed.

"Even though I don't want to hold the Cabinet position, I must. If they want to overrule this, it’s tantamount to tearing up the Constitution," he said.

Pheu Thai and other coalition parties yesterday announced that they would leave it to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to decide whether the House would be dissolved. The announcement followed the Democrat Party’s decision to have all its 152 MPs resign.

Sathit reiterated that the government could relinquish the administrative power immediately after the House is dissolved under Section 7 of the Constitution.

"The government can express in writing that it no longer wants to retain the power," he said.

Section 7 stipulates "Whenever no provision under this Constitution is applicable to any case, it shall be decided in accordance with the constitutional convention in the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State."

Yuthaporn Issarachai, dean of political science at Sukhothai Thammathirat University, said at a seminar on December 6, that the Section 7 was designed to plug constitutional loopholes, as the Constitution could not be written to cover all human behaviour. As the government and the House of Representatives - the key establishments under the Constitution, still can function - no action can be enforced under the Section 7.


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