Yingluck proposes public referendum

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday proposed a public referendum on proposals by anti-government protesters to let the majority of the people decide and suggest a way of holding a clean and fair election with a consensus from all parties as a way to end the conflict.

The prime minister made the proposal in an address televised by the Thai Television Pool of Thailand at 12.30pm after a meeting with high-level government members at the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order ahead of the People's Democratic Reform Committee's planned mass rally at Government House tomorrow.

Ms Yingluck said that in order to resolve the ongoing problems the government was willing to dissolve the House of Representatives if it was the wish of the people on condition it strictly follow the constitution.

In other words, after the House dissolution a fresh election must be held in 60 days as required by the constitution, she said.

But if the protesters and major political parties do not accept this way out or do not accept the result, the election would only extend the conflict further.

She cited the state of chaos which followed the election in 2006 in which a political party - the Demcrats - refused to field a candidate, causing a political vacuum which eventually led to the 2006 coup.

The prime minister said the government, therefore, proposes the setting up of a forum to consider the proposals raised by the protesters. If no agreement was reached in the forum, a public referendum should be carried out for the majority of people to decide and suggest a way of holding a clean and fair election. The decision must receive a consensus from all political parties, the protesters and all other sectors concerned.

An election could then be held under democratic rule and as stated by the constitution to end existing problems.

"I would like to confirm once again that I am not clinging to my position. I am willing to dissolve the House or resign if I am convinced that it would really be a way out to solve problems and enable the country to go forward. That is to say, the decision must be truly made by the majority of the people," she said.

On Mr Suthep's proposal for the return of power to the people without requiring an election, a House dissolution or the prime minister's resignation, Ms Yingluck said it was new and unprecedented. It was still arguable whether the proposal was lawful or democratic.

"To have a government without an election is a big issue which can affect the image and confidence of the country. If this proposal is to be put into practice, the people should be asked whether it is acceptable to them. Therefore, a public referendum is required and this method is allowed by the constitution.

"On Monday, December 9, the government would be glad to take the protesters' proposals into consideration and explore a common way out. Today, nobody is a loser. All of us, including the nation, are the winner," she said.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 10/12/2013 at 11:48 AM
Everyone talks about democracy in a way that it seems like it's the holy grail Then to be fair in the name of democracy, why doesn't the current government disclose details of the rice scheme and all corruptions going on in the government. Can't use democracy to hide from your crime. And please do not tell me everyone does it. If you want to put democracy on a pedestal, let's put the people who manage democracy on the same pedestal too. That is fair.
Discussion 2 : 10/12/2013 at 12:00 AM
"if it was the wish of the people on condition it strictly follow the constitution." Thanks for the laugh, Madam PM! You've spent the last two years+ running over the constitution to get your brother whitewashed.
Discussion 3 : 09/12/2013 at 08:29 PM
I think the greedy part goes to the Shinawatra clan.
Discussion 4 : 09/12/2013 at 06:19 PM
I read the interesting, albeit quite biased, article ryan_c refers to. But hard as I try, I can find no refrence, let alone proof, of the democrats hiring mercenaries.
Discussion 5 : 09/12/2013 at 04:04 PM
@east-west. If you google "son of the elite with an axe to grind" you'll find it. Sorry as I don't believe that I can post url's here.
Discussion 6 : 09/12/2013 at 03:54 PM
I wish Hun Sen would do the same as PM YS for the sake of the country stability. Good luck Ms YS.
Discussion 7 : 09/12/2013 at 03:43 PM
As Keynes said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" Since all the "Democrat" MPs have decided to resign their seats, the situation has changed radically. What we need to know now is whether they will actually put themselves forward for election to the new Parliament.
Discussion 8 : 09/12/2013 at 03:18 PM
Excellent question, Marco. In the USA, the republicans are frantically devising new voting restriction because they are losing power. They say it is to reduce fraud, but there isn't a shred of evidence to support the accusation. Same same here with democrats: They can't win so they just take to the streets and beg the military to intervene for them. Both need to realize that a majority does not support the concentration of wealth.
Discussion 9 : 09/12/2013 at 02:57 PM
Who is good at leading the country in terms of developing economy to build better lives for people? Thai people know the answer.
Discussion 10 : 09/12/2013 at 01:06 PM
Where is the proof?
Discussion 11 : 09/12/2013 at 12:39 PM
Yes 21st century politics, dictatorships are outdated and are being kicked out all over the world, Thaksin is trying to maintain his dictatorship, the tide is against him and his family.
Discussion 12 : 09/12/2013 at 12:39 PM
"Yingluck proposes public referendum" That she said yesterday, today she dissolved the house, .... finally. Who knows what she will do tomorrow.:-)
Discussion 13 : 09/12/2013 at 12:19 PM
The prime minister has acted in a civilised and dignified way to all the vitriol .Thailand will be viewed all the more sensible through her actions which are directly in contradiction to her opposite number.
Discussion 14 : 09/12/2013 at 12:06 PM
Some of the PDRC supporters are ex-military and are now mercenary on the Democrats' payroll. You don't think the democrats pay people to do their dirty work? Its obvious the way they construct their offensive strategy and tactics. Many accused the police are tomato police siding with Thaksin regime but failed to realise that the many soldiers are being hired by the Democrats to stage this protest.
Discussion 15 : 09/12/2013 at 11:20 AM
Why don;t the democrats compete against the PT by addressing the needs of the rural population?
Discussion 16 : 09/12/2013 at 10:56 AM
I am very touched by her devotion to her nation. However, to my perspectives, I believe it is not the right time to resign because it only adds the terrible habit to another habit of pulling down the lawful government by the military. She was voted by the majority to lead this country so there is no reason that the minority can pull her down so easily. I agree that her action to pass the law of forgiving to all political prisoners is a mean to help her brother back but it was not that very serious one. I am sorry if my comment may affect anyone of you but I do want to see this country in the peace.
Discussion 17 : 09/12/2013 at 10:51 AM
Obama would not try to change some part of the constitution and not try to get an amnesty for crooked politicians. No need for National Guard,which has blood on its hands for killing innocent Vietnam demonstrators.
Discussion 18 : 09/12/2013 at 10:23 AM
I agree so attractive and elegant.
Discussion 19 : 09/12/2013 at 07:18 AM
The only way out of vote buying is education and prosperity for all, not a feudalism style rule and eternal slandering of fellow citizens.
Discussion 20 : 09/12/2013 at 07:14 AM
Why a new election? If the democrats resign their seats,just hold new elections for their seat,easy choice,these games (the same in 2006) cannot end well,the world is watching!
Discussion 21 : 09/12/2013 at 07:10 AM
To those who suggest Yingluck should resign now. Wouldn't that leave a political vacuum? Who else can LEGITIMATELY replace her at the moment? The vacuum would create a dangerous and potentially very bloody situation. Would the army fill the space ? They don't want it. It would likely create a major split in the ranks with the potential of leading to civil war. In short she would be acting with the same lack of responsibility with which the "Democrats" seem to be permanently infected.
Discussion 22 : 09/12/2013 at 07:05 AM
I couldn't agree more.
Discussion 23 : 09/12/2013 at 06:34 AM
admittedly she does sound sensible for once when compared to Suthep. Ultimately, what I am hearing though is Dubai advising her to buy time while they snivel their way out of this mess and pull another fast one. What sort of referendum question and who gets to devise it.
Discussion 24 : 09/12/2013 at 05:49 AM
There is no way to have a fair and clean election. Pheu Thai has used its money to create the perfect electoral system to ensure it is voted back in each time. Add to this the economy-breaking populist schemes, and Pheu Thai are unbeatable for the wrong reasons. The system is broken and needs reforming.
Discussion 25 : 09/12/2013 at 04:52 AM
It would not surprise me if the Constitution states that all of this is illegal, thus , it never happened.
Discussion 26 : 09/12/2013 at 02:08 AM
No, the police would try to stop it first and if that failed Obama, as Commander-in-Chief, would probably send in the National Guard. Yingluck does not have that option as she always needs to keep an eye on how the army might react.
Discussion 27 : 09/12/2013 at 01:48 AM
Yingluck is trying to be fair to all minorities outside of capital!
Discussion 28 : 09/12/2013 at 01:11 AM
Ms. Yingluck understands democratic ideals and has earned my support. She is willing to step down if it helps the country - that is something to look up to in western world and totally opposite of the undemocratic forces against her. Best wishes, good luck, and cool head in these troubled times.
Discussion 29 : 09/12/2013 at 01:10 AM
Perfect idea. Put's the questions before the people under the current constitutional framework. But we know this will not satisfy the nut jobs that want to take the country backward 50 years and create a Pol Pot inspired worker's utopia.
Discussion 30 : 09/12/2013 at 01:07 AM
Well said.
Discussion 31 : 09/12/2013 at 12:57 AM
For two years, the Thai people gave her a chance, but the family's blood is thicker than the nation. That will be the end of the First Thai Lady Premier in history.
Discussion 32 : 09/12/2013 at 12:08 AM
Why bother with referendum? Last time I heard I think this very Constitution that you (Ms.PM) tried to change was put on referendum and approved by Thai people, wasn't? The new election you talked about is in nobody's interest. You said you got 15 million votes last time, can you tell us that how many votes were fair and clean? You still think your money can deliver you another victory, that's why you confidently challenge the people for that, right?
Discussion 33 : 09/12/2013 at 12:02 AM
This is a 21st century politics, and so, the opposition should never aspire by the outdated politics. I think that we need more leader like Ms. Yingluck in today's world. Her peaceful approach to settle this situation, in itself, should be very commendable. How else would a 'democratic' nation be choosing other way? I have also would like to applause your military people for being 'the military' and not get involve in politics. The real solution to me, is the let the current finish their term and let the new election dictate the future of Thailand. Do not let the greedy and some stupidity of the few lead this to destroying your nation.
Discussion 34 : 08/12/2013 at 11:15 PM
Is yingluck still pretending she does not not know what the people want? Its so clear that the people just want her whole family to get out!
Discussion 35 : 08/12/2013 at 11:09 PM
EODGhost All government officials , civil service , local government , teachers , wear fake medals . My wife is a school head teacher and wears them too . As uniforms are so popular in Thailand , I thought of having a Falang uniform , with lots of gold braid and fake medals . I am restrained by my wife who takes the matter rather seriously .
Discussion 36 : 08/12/2013 at 11:03 PM
Any solution that involves the Prime Minister retaining power is probably going to be unacceptable to the opposition. A General Election is most likely going to paint the Nation into a corner.
Discussion 37 : 08/12/2013 at 10:41 PM
Yingluck used normal Democratic way to get out of the crisis; there is no other way in the world today! otherwise you plunge Thailand in darkness; Opposition must be strong enough and well organize to challenge her or must focuse on strengthen itself, this is the rule of democarcy againt autocracy !
Discussion 38 : 08/12/2013 at 10:24 PM
I was talking about the referendum bit, not about People Council nor the coup. She already doing even bigger damage to Thailand from her rice scheme alone. How many more world leading investment houses and analysts do you want to tell her that her scheme is badly wrong?
Discussion 39 : 08/12/2013 at 09:54 PM
Tokay " She thinks we are stupid " . If she thinks that , I would agree with her . A minority of the people are being led by a rogue and a scoundrell into believing some people are good in this country and others bad . Power leads to corruption , it doesn't matter which side you support , they are all more bad than good . A " Peoples Council " will never be accepted . Another military coup is unlikely and would ultimately fail as the 2006 one did . What more could the present protesters do to provoke one ? The present situation won't resolve anything , will damage business and tourism .
Discussion 40 : 08/12/2013 at 09:49 PM
It is not arguable whether Suthep's propoal is lawful or democratic. It is neither. PM Yingluck's comments on the subject as reported here do not seem to me to make sense. Maybe the essence of what she said got lost in translation.
Discussion 41 : 08/12/2013 at 09:45 PM
That thumbnail picture of her in the military uniform, you know, the one with all the fake medals that she's wearing? Kinda says it all about Thai Government.
Discussion 42 : 08/12/2013 at 09:44 PM
By majority you mean the people in Issan that you have brainwashed to vote by shirt color ?
Discussion 43 : 08/12/2013 at 09:37 PM
Put it to the people? They have already done that. Just look out your window.
Discussion 44 : 08/12/2013 at 09:23 PM
From the page, "An election could then be held under democratic rule and as stated by the constitution to end existing problems." "stated by the constitution" - aha.. the YS government is NOT doing that at a moment.
Discussion 45 : 08/12/2013 at 09:15 PM
Reality is a very good teacher. It does not praise you when you do right. It does not scold you when you do wrong. It lets one bears the consequence of one's own actions. Every action leads to a reaction. But the basic fact remains. If there is too much evil, the good will come out to stop the evil act. If there is too much good, the evil will wait for the right time to come out. If the common objective is the well being of the people, the good will reign eventually.
Discussion 46 : 08/12/2013 at 09:14 PM
A referendum is not a requirement nor it is a barometer for measuring whether she should stay in power. In analogy, in the UK, does the current UK government ask for referendum for leaving European Union even though the results would likely to be 'Yes' ( 'OUT' of EU) ? Does USA or others of its allies ask for referendum for going to wars? No.
Discussion 47 : 08/12/2013 at 09:05 PM
I think, if you read it, you'll find it's in relation to Suthep's peoples council or government without an election, basically a way of asking people if they want a government without an election, asking the people to decide, do you think Suthep and his cronies would respect the majority?
Discussion 48 : 08/12/2013 at 08:53 PM
Exactly! She thinks we are stupid. We are not.
Discussion 49 : 08/12/2013 at 08:46 PM
What does she know about rule of law, she is the so called PM who jut tried to white wash all her brothers many crimes She is becoming as big a liar as he is .... "she is my clone" is sounding more more true every day. How can you trust someone with the last name Shinawatra? you can't
Discussion 50 : 08/12/2013 at 08:46 PM
Dirt poor? The red shirts travel to BKK in their own Pick-up trucks. I guess you haven't been around Asia or even SEA much, because Thailand is damn near wealthy compared to most countries here. I mean, we need to import 2-3 million Burmese to do the work thais think is beneath them. I have travelled all over the country, to small villages from north to south for several years. I have still to see desperate poverty here.
Discussion 51 : 08/12/2013 at 08:43 PM
Will this be like the faux citizens meetings held by Plodprasop and crew regarding the 350 billion flood plan? If so, I have a word for you Yingluck, no one is interested, not even your Red Shirts.
Discussion 52 : 08/12/2013 at 08:05 PM
It is a very critical time for her now. Any mistake she makes, she will have to leave Thailand for good! That is the biggest gamble of her life. The curtain will come down for her last show!
Discussion 53 : 08/12/2013 at 08:05 PM
A referendum on whether to have an election? Sounds like she thought this ridiculous idea up all by herself.
Discussion 54 : 08/12/2013 at 07:30 PM
Yingluck just stop playing around and do the best you can do: step down and dissolve the house! Now and immediately! No need to say if and that and if. No GET OUT!!! NOW!!! This is the only way to take the wind out of these protests. We will continue to protest until you are out!
Discussion 55 : 08/12/2013 at 07:24 PM
Don't fool yourself, she is only acting on the order's and instructions from big brother in Dubai.She's not very clever at all really.
Discussion 56 : 08/12/2013 at 07:01 PM
She is the weakest most ineffective politician I have seen, she is embarrassingly stupid when interviewed on Western news channels, she is pretty!! thats all shes got good looks!!
Discussion 57 : 08/12/2013 at 06:59 PM
Do you thing it is Yingluck making the decisions.
Discussion 58 : 08/12/2013 at 06:50 PM
If you have an election with the rice scheme running then the situation will not change it is.Catch 22.The PT will be re elected with a mandate to do as they please. and run the country dry.
Discussion 59 : 08/12/2013 at 06:49 PM
I'm so fed up with this. Thailand is a beautiful country with plenty of natural resources, a wonderful culture,a tropical climate most countries can only dream about,... How hard can it be to have a government that serves all people and not only their own mob. Why are millions of people dirt poor here? Why are all these powermongers in charge? Why is this country in such a state? Unbelievable. In a real democracy, half of this government AND the opposition would be thrown in jail. The only things you can choose between here is the plague and cholera, why pick any side?? Smarten up folks. Power to the one that doesn't want it!
Discussion 60 : 08/12/2013 at 06:43 PM
How does Yinkluck propose to dissolve the House of Representatives on condition it strictly follow the Constitution? Is she Insane ? Few weeks ago she refused the judgement of the Constitution Court. Does she really know "What does the Constitution compose?"
Discussion 61 : 08/12/2013 at 06:27 PM
She says she wants to have a clean and fair election and also solve the problems. I have a few suggestions 1. No more vote buying or intimidation. 2. No populist schemes. Enough of theses schemes that will bankrupt the country-IE: rice buying and high speed rail system 3. All Shinawatras and relatives do not to take any government or party positions. 4. Kill all of the Taksin amnesty bills forever. 5. Make DSI, AMLO and other agencies free to do their jobs without government control and interference. 6. Fully support anti corruption measures.
Discussion 62 : 08/12/2013 at 06:25 PM
Yingluck proposes the SURFACE normal (Thai) way out for the crisis. It doesn't mean that the administration structure way of corrupt for decades will disappear just as she pretends to discuss. This's the same strategy she did with the devil bill that she passed (under table) to bring back her brother.
Discussion 63 : 08/12/2013 at 06:14 PM
It is obvious that PM Yingluck Shinawatra does not understand the word "Democracy". If a few American going around attacking government buildings, do you think that President Obama would dissolve the House of Representatives and start a fresh election? Oh, I forgot, this is Thai style Democrazy :)
Discussion 64 : 08/12/2013 at 06:06 PM
Things certainly are becomming transparent now.
Discussion 65 : 08/12/2013 at 06:03 PM
Solution to current crisis has to be found within Democratic tools! Dear Political Leaders you are all Responsible! World is watching, any deviation Thailand will loose credibility and Thai people will have to pay a lot for the consequences! from iPhone application.
Discussion 66 : 08/12/2013 at 05:43 PM
How can Thailand have a free & unbiased election? We have the red shirts on call, harassing, intimidating & playing pass the parcel, compliments of a fugitive. We have the police not responding to anyone in distress @ the ballot box unless you are wearing a red shirt. So just more of the same ! Why not have members of UN @ every ballot box?
Discussion 67 : 08/12/2013 at 05:34 PM
The real problem could be that neither party wants a proper democracy, where there is separation of powers between the government, the House of Representatives and the Judiciary. Democracy would also require the military to carry out the wishes of the elected government and be subordinate to the government. An election must take place without voters being persuaded by the size of the gift by they receive. Could it happen, will it happen? I doubt it.
Discussion 68 : 08/12/2013 at 05:29 PM
She doesn't have a place to work, public and civil servants are being threaten not to come to work and media is twisting the stories all around us yet she still manage to apply diplomacy and use very little force. Takes a strong women to tolerate this sort of public abuse. Truth of the matter is, the government still function without the primary office. I wander where Suthep & Co is going to do next? Take over Chinatown?
Discussion 69 : 08/12/2013 at 05:24 PM
The only way this referendum works if it requires not a simple majority, but a super majority. If at least 2/3rds of the people don't agree, then there will continue to be no consensus to run the country. Requiring a super majority will guarantee that both sides must find common ground. Otherwise, it is nothing but a farce to continue the current farce.
Discussion 70 : 08/12/2013 at 05:14 PM
how much more democratic is this offer from the prime minister! will it satisfy the honourable mr suthep? i doubt it very much! i am positive he will have something negative to say about it. after all, he has been out to rid the country of this government and he must not lose faith. i think the people of thailand has seen through mr suthep and is fed up to the teeth with him!
Discussion 71 : 08/12/2013 at 05:02 PM
Lying and cheating with a smile has " grace and dignity"??? LOL
Discussion 72 : 08/12/2013 at 04:54 PM
I could make an equally strong argument that the last thing PT want is an election. They would have to decide who to run as PM, make clear what they would do about things such as the rice scheme and have uncertain support from their old allies such as the UDD and red shirts. BTW I think the Democrats should slay this notion that they would boycott the election by stating clearly and immediately that they would field a full list of candidates if the house is dissolved. Anything less would be unconstitutional though seeking to frustrate the functioning of the Democratic system
Discussion 73 : 08/12/2013 at 04:54 PM
@Rene33 Don’t underestimate just because she’s WOMEN she can have a career and have a baby and also she can be a wife and mother!
Discussion 74 : 08/12/2013 at 04:50 PM
The protests were never about the PTP, only the Shin's involvement in Thai politics. An election is not going to solve things. It'll probably mean the same faces back again, and so on ...
Discussion 75 : 08/12/2013 at 04:46 PM
THAILAND on Thursday dismissed suggestions that foreign observers were needed to monitor its upcoming election, with the deputy prime minister saying he does ‘not respect’ Westerners. It would be ‘inappropriate’ to allow outside involvement in the poll, which is due in June or July and comes after deadly street protests last year, said Suthep Thaugsuban. ‘I don’t respect ‘farangs’. We do not have to surrender to them,‘ he said, using the Thai word for ‘Westerners’. ‘I am surprised that Red Shirts do not respect our country’s sovereignty… I don’t understand why they constantly call for foreign involvement, it is i
Discussion 76 : 08/12/2013 at 04:45 PM
Yes and on what impartial judgement can you make such statement ? The "people you know" ? For sure what a representative sample of the entire Thai voters ! Because I live in a much PT area and I could make exactly the opposite statement, especially to have in place of the current government a non elected "people's council". Those statements just remind stories about how Abhisit was supposed to be "massively" supported by the Thai (understand Bkk and the South : 35 % in last election).
Discussion 77 : 08/12/2013 at 04:40 PM
Prime Minister shows the normal way of a mature Democracy against Suthep who with his permanent anti constitutional talk wants to drive country to chaos and dictatorship; this man is dangerous for the country, his place: the jail! from iPhone application.
Discussion 78 : 08/12/2013 at 04:40 PM
Yes, had she shown just a little bit of grace and dignity in the past two years, we wouldn't be in this mess now. Too little too late, if you ask me!
Discussion 79 : 08/12/2013 at 04:32 PM
Same as last week. Same imposible response.
Discussion 80 : 08/12/2013 at 04:28 PM
An election could then be held under democratic rule and as stated by the constitution to end existing problems. Have an election that is monitored by a outside country. Otherwise the Red Shirts will just comment fraud again.
Discussion 81 : 08/12/2013 at 04:13 PM
Sad times for the country and people.
Discussion 82 : 08/12/2013 at 04:12 PM
Yingluck has proven formidable acted with grace and dignity.
Discussion 83 : 08/12/2013 at 04:12 PM
A simple survey, carried out this evening, (sample 10.000 Thai people older than 18 years old) could answer the question if a majority of Thai people want the government to resign from office. Which research agencies are willing to execute the survey, for free (only free publicity)?
Discussion 84 : 08/12/2013 at 04:12 PM
There is definitely the makings of resolution here. There is no question that before we have a people's council we should have a referendum first. This is consistent with the Constitutional court ruling on re-writing the charter. I do hope wise heads on the PRDC and its allies pick this up and negotiate a way forwards. If not Khun Suthep then someone else. If we are to have a referendum then we need a body independent of the protagonists to write the question to try to remove allegations of bias. Perhaps the choice should be people's council or dissolution of the House
Discussion 85 : 08/12/2013 at 04:00 PM
The majority of the people. Exactly, Not a chosen few. Let the people decide Mr Suthep.
Discussion 86 : 08/12/2013 at 03:58 PM
Once again Yingluck is showing statesmanship and tolerance even with open threats of bringing the govnment down with violence. Other countries will break up the protests long ago and have the leaders arrested. We now have a small group of Bangkokian heavily indoctrinated by a corrupted reckless man with an unsound and personal grudge who care less bringing the country down with him.
Discussion 87 : 08/12/2013 at 03:48 PM
yingluck can longer be trusted to be the nation pm ,its too late to U-turn,when she tried to change the chater to a taxsin charter,without a public referendum,her creditability to be above the law of the land also exposed,the party in the eyes of the nation,has become unlawful,neglecting their duties to govern,no referendum,step down,or be dissolved in the courts,
Discussion 88 : 08/12/2013 at 03:41 PM
She hasn't to be smart, she only has to go.
Discussion 89 : 08/12/2013 at 03:40 PM
Well played Yingluck. Actually promoting democracy; though I am curious to see how Suthep spins this.
Discussion 90 : 08/12/2013 at 03:26 PM
Yingluck always plays things smarter than the other side. Funny how they still think she's stupid.

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