We're just days from victory, Sathit says

Sathit Wongnongtoey, a former Democrat MP and anti government protest leader, believes the Bangkok shutdown protests of his People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) group will finally stop the caretaker government from functioning. Mr Sathit says a violent response to demonstrators will speed up the end. He shares his views with Bangkok Post reporters.

How do you evaluate your Bangkok shutdown movement?

The shutdown approach consists of street blockages, seizures of government offices and rallies at the residences of key supporters of caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The street blockages in Bangkok's key commercial areas have received cooperation from local people and are aimed at putting pressure directly on the government.

Many government officials welcome the sieges at government offices and recommend more government organisations that deserve to be seized. The sieges are intended to prevent the government from commanding government organisations and thus to make it a failed government.

Sieges at the residences of Ms Yingluck's supporters are also aimed at making her government a failed administration. The PDRC will proceed with its present moves until tomorrow and afterwards we will meet to evaluate the situation and how to escalate the protest. In the meantime, demonstrators will try to find Ms Yingluck.

What will you do if your plans are not successful and Ms Yingluck continues to stay in office?

I must admit that peaceful movements limit our strategies. We think that the worst-case scenario is that Ms Yingluck refuses to resign and will wait for demonstrators to become tired. PDRC secretary-general Suthep [Thaugsuban] keeps encouraging demonstrators to fight until Ms Yingluck and other caretaker ministers resign and the Thaksin regime disappears from Thailand.

The game will end faster if government officials and soldiers side with the people. The game will end faster if the government deals violently with demonstrators. We know hardcore government supporters will launch violent attacks and black-clad men are carrying out their missions and enjoying support from some police officers.

At what stage is the PDRC now at in its fight to end the Thaksin regime?

The PDRC is in the last stage of its fight. The escalation of our movements, strategies and goals reflect this stage. The goal is to get rid of the Thaksin regime. All the sieges have reduced the space of Ms Yingluck and the government. This refers to the physical space for their movements, the space for their political movements and the space of their command over government organisations.

I say this is the last stage because the power based on government officials has been shaken. Government officials have expressed their stance for the first time as the permanent secretary for public health has demanded the prime minister resign and for reform to precede the election.

What is obvious is the views of the military that disagrees with the government's plan to impose an executive decree on public administration in emergency situations to involve soldiers in controlling demonstrators.

The military also demands the government refrain from using force against demonstrators and take responsibility for any violent incidents committed against the people.

These are signs of the shaken power of the government and the deciding factors in this fight.

Will the last stage take long?

I cannot tell if it will take three or five days but only the last goal remains to be achieved - that is the Yingluck government becomes a failed administration. The House has already been dissolved and the government has lost its legitimacy to stay in power as it has defied the authority of the Constitution Court.

We expect two possible outcomes. One is the people's revolution can oust the government, leading to the establishment of the people's government and council.

The other outcome is that Ms Yingluck and her ministers resign and the Senate speaker appoints an interim prime minister and an interim council to plan national reform for a year before the next general election.

If the government sends its people to negotiate with us and proposes that one of its ministers is picked as Ms Yingluck's successor, we will turn it down. There cannot be a win-win situation, nor can we meet each other halfway in this fight.

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