At the United front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) press conference on the 21st of August 2013, spokesperson of the UDD, Mr. Thanuwut Vichaidit, confirmed the organization’s support for PM Yingluck’s plan of political reform through government-initiated unity forum because it can possibly be the first step towards peace and reconciliation.
Mr. Thanawut said that no matter what colors you are, no civilian would want the same situation in Egypt to be repeated here in Thailand but there is electoral sore loser, such as the Democrat Party, who sought after such violence.
“Only the Democrat Party who wanted to cause disorder in the Parliament and chaos on the street. Their only intention is to bring down the government,” said the spokesperson of the UDD.
Mr. Thanawut argued that no matter what legislative idea the Pheu Thai Party pushed into the parliament, the Democrat Party will veto it, even though it was a logical and pragmatic thing to do such as the Amnesty Bill and the amendment of article 291 of the Constitution which seeks to form a 99 member constitution drafting assembly consisting of two types of members; one elected member per province and 22 selected experts.
The amendment of the article 291 is a merged bill that is sponsored by the coalition of Pheu Thai Party, the Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship (DAAD) and Chart Thai Pattana Party.
The spokesperson of the UDD maintains that these bills are aimed to improve the democratic system in this country through the enhancement of fairness and justice.
“I believe that the majority of the people in this country would want to see Senator who came from election” Mr. thanawut said, referring to amendment of articles 111,115,117,118 and 120 of the constitution which seeks the requirement of all 200 senators to be elected, not appointed. Another change to the constitution is each Senate currently has a six-year term but the new amendment will not require a tenure ceiling.
“This is the time for Red Shirts to be patient. Concentrate on the situation and be cautious but do not engage with the Democrat supporters because that is what they want,” the spokesperson reminded the UDD followers.
Assoc. Prof. Tida Tavonseth, president of the UDD told the Red Shirts supporters that the people’s fight is an Odysseus’s struggle that is long and treacherous. This is why there is a need for the people to be persistent in their struggle because even when Pheu Thai is the ruling party, the parliament is still considered as a laughing stock. “Thus is a stage for the uncivilized and a place for showmanship,” Mrs. Tida said, referring to the recent brawl between Democrat MPs and parliamentary police officers.
Mrs. Tida believes that the reason why the Democrat caused all the commotions in the parliament was because they felt that they are losing in this “theater”. They did not get enough votes in the parliament so their strategy is to create havoc. According to Mrs. Tida, every single bill that was presented in front of the parliament are merit and deserves to become law. The Amnesty Bill for the people and the Constitutional Amendment to which control how Senator is selected are honest proposals which derive straight from the will of the people.
“If a referendum is to be made I believe that most people would vote for the Amnesty Bill and the new selection method for Senators,” said the president of the UDD.
According to Mrs. Tida, the opposition party is trying a “two pronged” attack where one of its “legs” is attempting to gather mass on the street while another one is doing the kicking in the parliament:
“Your strategy won’t work,” she alleged, “You tried to copy what you yourselves called a “populist strategy” and it was a failure and now you trying to gather mass of people using our two-pronged strategy which I can guarantee you that this will also end in a failure because this is the people’s strategy. A political party cannot use the people’s strategy because they do not want two “legs,” they only want one “leg” which is their own,” Assoc. Prof. Tida remarked.
Mrs. Tida also shows her support, on behalves of the Red Shirts, for the government-initiated unity forum but questioned whether it is the real solution for the country’s problems because the majority of the people in the forum are politicians and luminaries but there are not enough representatives from the people sector.
“We are willing to support the forum which promotes peace in this country but is this a long term solution? Our expectation is not that far ahead but this is a good tactic for the government to pursue. If this plan turned out right, they can move forward to the next process but the people already knew that they cannot rely on anybody else but themselves. The people can only help each other and that is the key,” said the president of the UDD.
On the matter of Amnesty Bill, Mrs. Tida said that the purpose of this legislation is for the people to be free not the co-leaders:
“The Amnesty Bill does not talk about state authorities because they already have immunity through emergency decree. This fact is what we wanted the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the international community to understand. Tje Amnesty Bill is for the people only. We need to get them out of this fate and we need to get them out of these jail cells. This is our position,” Mrs. Tida stressed.