Bangkok — Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban declared victory for the people on Monday, the upcoming Thai election was set for Feb 2, and the Pheu Thai Party said Yingluck Shinawatra will be prime minister again if it wins the election.
A huge anti-government march took place on Monday in spite of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s announcement Monday morning that she has decided to dissolve the House of Representatives, which followed the opposition Democrat Party MPs’ mass resignations on Sunday.
The protesters marched to Government House from nine different directions on a day their leaders had called the “final battle” against the “Thaksin regime”, saying if the people came out in large numbers they would win, but if the numbers were low the protests would end and their leaders would turn themselves in to police to fight charges filed against them for rebellion in court.
People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban declared victory for the people outside Government House at 4pm.
“From this minute, sovereign power has been taken back [from government] by the people,” he declared to his supporters.
On Monday night Mr. Suthep said that power had been returned to the Thai people, arguing that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was no longer in charge.
Also on Monday, the dissolution of the House and the February 2 election date was approved by His Majesty the King.
The ruling Pheu Thai Party quickly announced that Yingluck Shinawatra will be the party’s number one party list candidate in the upcoming election, meaning she will be nominated as prime minister again if the party wins the election.
The biggest point of dispute at the moment between the government and protesters is the question of who is in charge of the caretaker government between now and February 2.
The Pheu Thai-led government insists that it is still in charge until the election, but the PDRC rejects this claim.
It wants a royally-appointed interim prime minister to run the country while a people’s council begins executing political reforms.
The PDRC claims that the government has lost legitimacy because of its handling of the controversial blanket amnesty bill and of its public rejection of the Constitution Court ruling on the charter amendment concerning the make-up of the Senate.
Thailand’s last five elections, dating back nearly 13 years, have all been won by the Thaksin Shinawatra-supported parties. The first two parties, Thai Rak Thai and the People’s Power Party, were later dissolved through court decisions for violations of electoral laws.