Protesters voice council doubts

Anti-government demonstrators have cast doubts over the proposed establishment of a people's council.

They have urged People's Democratic Reform Committee secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban to clearly explain how the council would operate.

A 50-year-old military officer taking part in the anti-government protest at the government complex yesterday, said Mr Suthep's people's council proposal and the interim government still posed "many questions".

The officer, who identified himself only as Anucha, said the council still lacks legitimacy since there is no law supporting its establishment. "Mr Suthep must come up with a clear answer to the public [on how the council will be formed], while the Democrat Party has to ensure they will not get involved with the selection of council members," he said. "All political parties also should be reformed, to avoid further conflict."

On Tuesday, Mr Suthep for the first time spelled out what he meant by a "people's council".

He said he wants to invoke Section 7 of the constitution, which would lead to the installation of a royally appointed prime minister and cabinet.

Mr Suthep said people from all walks of life will then choose representatives from various professions to form the council. The council would work out policies and draw up legislation, including charter amendments. His idea has been criticised by academics and the Pheu Thai Party, who say the move would be an affront to democracy.

Mr Anucha, however, believes confusion over Mr Suthep's proposal will not shrink the number of protesters because they share the same goal of toppling the Yingluck Shinawatra government.

Worakit Pirookunakarn, 55, a businessman from Chon Buri province, who also rallied at the government complex yesterday, echoed Mr Anucha's concerns. He said details about the selection process of the council were unclear, adding these shortcomings would weaken the council once it is formed.

However, Mr Worakit said if the selection process is transparent and accepted by all sides, the council will be able to solve the country's political problems.

Saifon Sukhonthapan, 50, from Pathum Thani province, said she supported Mr Suthep's people's council plan, since the House could not function properly. She said it doesn't matter if there is no law to support the council.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 06/12/2013 at 05:44 PM
The populist policies are, well... popular. In fact, they were are retained after the coup that ousted Taksin. All except the two- and three-digit lottery, which was repealed. Do you think that made it end, or just go back underground? "Follow the money."
Discussion 2 : 06/12/2013 at 05:24 PM
Your are very conciliatory Mr.Philiips, it is much more simple : the key element of this not elected "people's council" to rule the country for an unknown duration is just that it is out of the line of any of the most elementary democratic rules. Full stop.
Discussion 3 : 06/12/2013 at 03:10 PM
Well said! Choosing "representatives from various (NOT *ALL*) professions necessarily excludes others. Who is going to make such choices, and why will those excluded be satisfied with them?
Discussion 4 : 06/12/2013 at 03:03 PM
Regardless if the US State Department said this, It makes perfect sense, so why would anyone post a dislike to this comment?
Discussion 5 : 06/12/2013 at 01:23 PM
So this group of protestors want to bring down the government to gain more rights and freedom, more equality and most likely they will get beaten, imprisoned or shot down. You observation is astute.
Discussion 6 : 06/12/2013 at 12:54 PM
The key elements are [deliberately?] still missing. Who are these people "from all walks of life"? Who chooses them? Do they choose representatives from a shortlist, or can they choose anyone? As the impetus begins to wane and passions cool, people are looking more and more at what Suthep is actually saying and, more importantly, what he is not saying.
Discussion 7 : 06/12/2013 at 12:44 PM
I think Mr. Suthep have just realize that they are winning this battle unfortunately, they are not prepared yet of what to do next. The people's council he is proposing is vague for his followers and he needs to explain it in details or else, they will lost the momentum of this fight.
Discussion 8 : 06/12/2013 at 12:32 PM
Blind faith strikes again. Glad that some folks are actually questioning the logic in Suthep's goals.
Discussion 9 : 06/12/2013 at 12:32 PM
Maybe this whole statement was made with a little help from the baker in dubai, he
Discussion 10 : 06/12/2013 at 12:26 PM
Until you tackle the basics, like institutionalised corruption, greed and other inherited evil traits you will never change the politics. Doesn't matter who's in power, it all comes from the same pot.
Discussion 11 : 06/12/2013 at 12:11 PM
people's council is impossible under the present constitution, and there is NO DOUBT about this.
Discussion 12 : 06/12/2013 at 12:09 PM
The minority need to learn that just because they hate someone or their policies, administration, they cannot simply overthrow the government because they feel they are entitled to it. The minority can win an election if they want to and try. Stop blaming others for your shortcommings and earn the peoples trust and vote.
Discussion 13 : 06/12/2013 at 11:57 AM
No, what you actually do is bankrupt the entire country buying votes with the populous policies such as the disastrous rice scam.
Discussion 14 : 06/12/2013 at 11:54 AM
Good idea but they should be in police cells for breaking the law of the land
Discussion 15 : 06/12/2013 at 11:50 AM
I know about your opinions, but you can't seriously mean the red insurgents of 2009/2010 were 'demonstrating for more democratic rights and freedoms', do you? It'd annihilate the value of your first statement, as you know, as the rest of the country does, it was, and still is, all about one man, I never heard anyone label 'a democrat'...
Discussion 16 : 06/12/2013 at 11:47 AM
Completely right. The vast majority of the yellow shirt protesters are being cynically manipulated in support of a plan that will emasculate their most basic democratic right - the right to elect a government of THEIR choice; not that of a self-appointed elite as proposed by Suthep. The above report suggests some of them are at last beginning to wake up to that simple truth.
Discussion 17 : 06/12/2013 at 11:26 AM
"She said it doesn't matter if there is no law to support the council". Only that... I just listen AV (a bit confused) affirming to foreign medias the protesters move because PT didn't accept a judgement and didn't respect the law.
Discussion 18 : 06/12/2013 at 11:17 AM
"It doesnt matter if there is no law to support the council". Shows the level of intellect we are dealing with here.
Discussion 19 : 06/12/2013 at 10:45 AM
Protesters should stay home. Let the democracy process moves forward.
Discussion 20 : 06/12/2013 at 10:32 AM
This is the problem with any form of "appointed" government. Who appoints? Look at the appointed 74 members of the Thai Senate. They are all appointed by a five person panel of judges (3) and senior civil servants (2) who are appointed by - take a guess - the Thai Senate. Its a closed system with one group of vested interests appointing the other. The government needs checks and balances, but the current system acts as neither a check nor balance. Its a means for an elite to tilt legislative power in the favour.
Discussion 21 : 06/12/2013 at 10:25 AM
"Violence and the seizure of public or private property are not acceptable means of resolving political differences. We call upon all sides to uphold international norms that guarantee freedom of the press and the safety of journalists. The United States firmly believes all parties should work together to resolve differences through peaceful dialogue..." - US State Department
Discussion 22 : 06/12/2013 at 10:01 AM
What is the use to fight for no freedom of your choice ?
Discussion 23 : 06/12/2013 at 09:57 AM
"said people from all walks of life will then choose representatives"... isn't that what voting is all about? What he really means is that people he approves of will be allowed to choose the correct people!
Discussion 24 : 06/12/2013 at 09:09 AM
Suthep does not represent Thai people a a whole, just certain area that will support him, such as Bangkok, and parts of the south. Ms. Yingluk administration has the majority in a free election. They keep saying buying votes, I would be bankrupt if I had to pay off every thai citizen to vote for me?
Discussion 25 : 06/12/2013 at 09:06 AM
Thailand seems to have achieved a political stalemate, it boils down to a stand off between those who support Thaksin and those who support Suthep, Abhisit and Yingluck are side lined. If the army were able to force Yingluck and Suthep to meet, then why not grant Thaksin a temporary amnesty, invite him to meet Suthep, then keep them both there until they reach a compromise solution.
Discussion 26 : 06/12/2013 at 09:04 AM
The trouble with overthrowing a democratically elected government is that the majority will not take their disenfranchisement lying down, and by definition there are more of them than there are of the usurpers.
Discussion 27 : 06/12/2013 at 08:55 AM
the sheep are beginning to wake up to the fact that suthep's plan is to take away their right to vote and choose their government and instead have one imposed on them , so they have been out protesting and rioting so they can give up their liberty and freedom of choice, and these are the "educated" right
Discussion 28 : 06/12/2013 at 08:49 AM
“We accept in the fullest sense of the word the settled and persistent will of the people. All this idea of a group of supermen and super-planners … making the masses of the people do what they think is good for them, without any check or correction, is a violation of democracy.” —Winston S. Churchill, House of Commons, 11 November 1947
Discussion 29 : 06/12/2013 at 08:40 AM
Throughout Thai history there is a pattern: almost very time groups demonstrate or move to bring down elected governments, they succeed. Every time groups demonstrate for more democratic rights and freedoms, more equality, the get beaten, imprisoned and shot down.
Discussion 30 : 06/12/2013 at 06:48 AM
The protesters are finally waking up to the fact the Suthep is not of sound mind.
Discussion 31 : 06/12/2013 at 06:42 AM
So the peoples court are having doubts about their leaders plans for the country. The protestors should judge themselves before they judge others.

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