The Nation



Yingluck 'will be forced to stand down'

'People's power' will push premier to quit and make way for reforms: Suthep

Suthep Thaugsuban, leader of the anti-government protest, warned yesterday that if Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ignores the demand for her to step down, she will be forced by "people's power" to do so.

Speaking to the media at the Royal Turf Club before noon yesterday, Suthep said that with a political vacuum following her departure, a politically neutral person would be selected to become the new prime minister. And a people's council would be set up to carry out reforms, Suthep said, adding that he expected this process to take 8 to 14 months.

He told the media that after political reforms, if a party linked to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra won power again, he would accept it. But he stressed that new rules to be written as part of the reforms must ensure future elections are free and fair - with political parties really belonging to the people, and not capitalists, as at present.

Suthep and the protesters have rallied against the so-called Thaksin regime, which they blame for prevalent corruption and alleged abuse of majority rule.

Protesters leave Nang Lerng

An anti-government rally site in Bangkok's Nang Lerng area has been closed down, with organisers moving to the previous base at Democracy Monument, reportedly because there have been fewer protesters gathering there.

The Students and People's Network for Thailand's Reform (STR) members began packing up yesterday morning at Nang Lerng. They later tied long national flag banners around the Government House fence in a symbolic gesture and padlocked all gates with STR guards at the gates after finding out fresh, new police had replaced officers long stationed there.

The government's Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order said police arrested a number of men in possession of items like weapons including home-made bombs. Police are taking action against people who throw projectiles into Government House and those who cut off electricity and tapwater.

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