Abhisit could take Suthep's place if protest leader arrested

Abhisit could take Suthep's place if protest leader arrested

BANGKOK - Asked if he was ready to lead the protests against the "Thaksin regime" should Suthep get detained, Abhisit laughed and said, "anything could happen".

"I think thousands of people would be ready to stand in for Suthep as protest leader if he was detained, but it might be that he already has someone in mind to take his place - I don't know.

"Whatever the outcome, Suthep has brought to the attention of the public what is right for Thailand, so it [the protest movement] will not end - even if Suthep was no longer at its helm," he said.

Abhisit denied that Suthep and Democrat MP Korn Chatikavanij were at loggerheads after Korn criticised Suthep's leadership of the protest. The issue was already moot, he said, adding that Suthep had an important job to do for the country and Korn was focusing on Thailand's future prospects. The two, therefore, had no conflict of interest.

Abhisit said he was not concerned about a petition filed with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) by the Pheu Thai Party, seeking dissolution of the Democrat Party for violating article 68 of the Constitution for organising protests to oust the government. He said Democrat MPs were joining the rally for today's and tomorrow's "Battle day" to support the people.

He said Democrat MPs could not resign en masse at the present, because their mission to seek the impeachment of MPs and senators who proposed the unconstitutional charter amendment bill, was not yet complete. They also needed to keep a close eye on the ruling Pheu Thai Party to see if it still planned to push forward with an amendment of Article 68 of the charter.

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