With 5 updates: PADocrat Friday

1 06 2012

It looks like being an interesting Friday in Bangkok. PPT has seen a bunch of Facebook and emailed invitations emanating from Democrat Party MPs hooting and hollering about how Friday is the big deal in their opposition to the various versions of the reconciliation bills.

These emails say that Friday is going to make the shenanigans in parliament and the initial PAD demonstrations seem like warm-ups. They are essentially inviting supporters to occupy parliament.

The People’s Alliance for Democracy itself has asked/demanded that the House speaker allow “200 PAD representatives to enter the House chamber to listen to MPs debating … the four reconciliation bills…”. Perhaps it is felt that the Democrat Party needs reinforcements as it attempts to close parliament from the inside.

With PADocrat MPs urging supporters to rally and be prepared for action, the government is increasing the number of police at the parliament building. It feels remarkably like 2008.

And, PPT should point out that several pundits criticized us in recent months when we argued that PAD wasn’t finished, as so many of them declared. As we have said before, what was needed was a reason for mobilization and the go ahead. We also noted that suggested splits between the Democrat Party and PAD were overdone.

Update 1: The Bangkok Post reports that PAD protesters were due to “resume their protest outside parliament at 6am today. The protesters were told by the alliance’s leaders to bring tear gas masks with them to prepare for their rally today.” Meanwhile, so-called “multi-coloured protesters … were due to resume their protest at 5am…”.

Update 2: The Nation reports that “The House meeting scheduled for deliberation of national reconciliation bills was adjourned form 9:30 am [Friday] after [PAD/multi-color] protesters surrounded Parliament.  Pheu Thai MPs, who have entered the Parliament compound early in the morning, left on an special exit at 10 am. The exit has been earlier prepared for them in anticipation of besieging by protesters. The protesters started the blockade of Parliament at 8:15 am.”

Update 3: The Bangkok Post has further detail on the protest. Led by Tul Sitthisomwong, protesters closed an intersection to block the way to  parliament’s Prasart Thevarat gate. “This has blocked MPs of the Pheu Thai Party from entering the House of Representatives to attend the parliamentary session to deliberate the four proposed reconciliation bills.” Unsurprisingly, the protesters allowed PADocrat/Democrat Party MPs to enter parliament.

Previously, when parliament was blocked, parliament met elsewhere.

Update 4: The Nation reports that PAD protesters “pushed back police from the Pichai Road…, disrupting police from securing passage for MPs to enter Parliament….  The protesters then seized the two intersections.” Also at The Nation, House Speaker Somsak Kiartsuranon “ordered the indefinite postponement of the [parliamentary] meeting” because MPs could not get to parliament due to PAD blockade. It seems that only 20 PADocrat/Democrat Party MPs were in parliament. Perhaps the rest were with their PAD allies, blocking parliament. Red shirt Korkaew Pikulthong reckons PAD are trying to provoke a coup. According to tweets, Jatuporn Promphan has called on red shirts to prepare for a coup.

Update 5: The Bangkok Post confirms the tweets above on Jatuporn’s coup comments. They were made at a press conference attended by a number of leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship.  Jatuporn “called the red-shirts to stay cool, stay put and closely follow the political situation.” If there is a coup, Jatuporn says “red-shirts in all provinces must travel to Bangkok and join forces at the Democracy Monument, which would be the centre for the fight against the coup…”. Jatuporn felt the need “to reassure all soldiers that the red-shirts have no thought of toppling the high institution, as alleged…”. He added that red shirts “would fight against only those trying to destroy democracy.” Perhaps the military sees no such difference.

Various tweets suggest that senior military commanders from all over Thailand have been meeting in Bangkok.

Meanwhile, Nattawut Saikua has been reported as accusing Democrat Party of disrupting parliament as a “signal for the outside parliament power to topple the government…”. He demanded that Abhisit Vejjajiva “resign as leader of the Democrat Party for failing to show responsibility for the House brawls caused by his party members.”

PPT doubts Abhisit would resign when he sees yet another opportunity to oust the elected government.



2 responses

31 10 2012
The junta’s constitution « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Hence we can assume that the Puea Thai Party’s statement that it again plans to seek changes is sure to be like whiskey for an alcoholic as it was when the Democrat Party behaved like drunken football hooligans in parliament. […]

31 10 2012
The junta’s constitution « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Hence we can assume that the Puea Thai Party’s statement that it again plans to seek changes is sure to be like whiskey for an alcoholic as it was when the Democrat Party behaved like drunken football hooligans in parliament. […]

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