Thailand's democrat MPs quit House

Thailand's democrat MPs quit House

The opposition Democrat Party yesterday unanimously resolved that all of its remaining 152 MPs would resign and join today's mass rally against the Yingluck Shinawatra government, which is to be held throughout Bangkok.

Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said at a party press conference yesterday: "We will fight as Thai citizens tomorrow".

Abhisit said the Opposition decided to quit as it wanted to help the country find a solution to the current political problems. He said the problems are spiralling towards a crisis, as antigovernment protesters are stepping up their campaign against what he described as an illegitimate government.

Explaining the reasons for the mass resignation, he said it was a gesture to demonstrate that the government had lost legitimacy when it rejected the Constitutional Court's ruling on charter-amendment legislation and issued illegal resolutions that ran against the public's feelings.

"Since the House and the government have lost legitimacy, it must return sovereignty to the people," he said.

He said the Democrat MPs had done their parliamentary duties as best as they could by checking the government, but it lacked a conscience and sense of responsibility.

There were originally 161 Democrat MPs, but nine earlier resigned to lead the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). The movement's secretary-general is former Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban.

The Democrats' resignations from Parliament came ahead of today's planned mass anti-government march to Government House, which is intended to mark Suthep's "final day of battle". The resignations allow the MPs, including Abhisit and party chief adviser Chuan Leekpai, to join the rally today without worrying about the legal consequences for the party. By resigning they protect the Democrat Party from the possibility of dissolution stemming from any protest actions they might take.

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