a week of intense campaign to overthrow the government of Ms. Yingluck, the protest leader, former
Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban last night announced his intention to pursue the invocation of Article
7 of the 2007 Constitution, which Mr. Suthep said permits His Majesty the King to appoint a Prime
Minister of his own discretion.
The said article reads, "Whenever no provision of this Constitution is applicable to any
case, it shall be decided in accordance with the Constitutional practice in the democratic regime of
government with the King as Head of the State".
Mr. Suthep also repeated his proposal of an unelected ′People′s Council′ to be
established as the governing body of the nation instead of Ms. Yingluck′s elected government.
However, details of the ′People′s Council′, such as its potential members or boundary of powers,
remain vague. Mr. Suthep has hinted that representatives of different occupation would be
Furthermore, Mr. Suthep has announced his campaign to overthrow ′Thaksin Regime′ will not
be over even after Ms. Yingluck resigned or dissolved the Parliament, arguing that Thailand needs a
radical restructuring to uproot the alleged evils committed by former Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra, the brother of Ms. Yingluck, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup but is still
wielding considerable influence in Thai politics.
Anti-government protesters - banded under the name People′s Committee for
Absolute Democracy With the King as Head of State (PCAD) - are known for their royalist rhetoric.
Many protesters and their leaders have previously accused Mr. Thaksin of plotting against the Thai
Allies of Ms. Yingluck are quick to criticise Mr. Suthep′s
Warathep Rattanakorn, Minister of the Prime Minister′s Office, said an appointed leader under
Article 7 would be directly against the electoral system of the country, and therefore
also questioned the validity of the ′People′s Council′ proposed by Mr. Suthep. "Mr. Suthep claimed
he wanted a government that truly represents the people," Mr. Warathep said, "But I′d like to ask
him whether it would include more than 10 million people who have voted for Pheu Thai-led
Warathep warned that an unelected leader would only cause further cycles of chaos, since the
majority of the people prefer a solution under constitutional procedure. "The Prime Minister came
with her legitimacy. If she has lost it, she must lose it under constitutional practice, not because
Mr. Suthep has demanded so".
whether invocation of Article 7 would amount to breaching the boundary of His Majesty the
King′s power under a Constitutional Monarchy, Mr. Warathep replied that he does not want to comment
on the matter "especially in the auspicious celebratory period of His Majesty the King′s Birthday,"
which falls on 5 December.
Jarupong Ruangsuwan, Minister of Interior Affairs and chairman of Pheu Thai Party, likewise
dismissed Mr. Suthep′s pursuit of Article 7 as unconstitutional.
"How could we proceed with it when the
Prime Minister is still here and she has done nothing wrong?" Mr. Jarupong told reporters, "At most,
the way out of the current political situation is to dissolve the House and call for a new election.
It′s something the government can do," therefore there is no need for an extra-constitutional
solution proposed by Mr. Suthep.
He continued, "I′d like to invite Mr. Suthep and the Democrat Party to talk with us. Talk,
then listen to the opinion of the majority according to rule of the majority. They should stop
clinging to their minority mandate and starting all these fights. The world is laughing at
However, Mr. Ekkanat Prompan, spokesman of the PCAD, said the call for a royally-appointed
Prime Minister is perfectly constitutional.
When a reporter asked him whether the move would be against the democratic
system, Mr. Ekkanat shot back, "How could it be?"
He also alleged that it was the government who acted in contradiction with a
democratic system when it refused to accept the ruling of the Constitutional Court last
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