Thailand: Suthep calls on Senate to appoint new PM
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Thailand: Suthep calls on Senate to appoint new PM

IN BRIEF: On Friday evening the Thai Senate appointed Surachai Liangboonlertchai as its new speaker. He has called a special session for Monday morning to discuss the crisis. The situation remains these in Bangkok and supporters from both the pro- and anti-government sides are expected to protest Saturday. We will keep you updated on any significant developments.




4.34pm: Police have expressed regret to anti-government protesters and monk Issara for firing tear gas at them yesterday.

4.03pm: PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban has begun his speech.  He insists that ”there is currently no PM, and no caretaker PM, only an acting PM” who has virtually no powers, according to him. As demanded yesterday, he’s calling for the senate and other government bodies to pick a new interim government.

3.45pm: We believe Thai terrestrial channels 3, 7 and 9 will be broadcasting Suthep’s speech live. A number of channels have been under pressure from protesters to televise the announcement.

3.34pm: PDRC leader is due to speak from Government House shortly, at 4pm. There have been reports of tanks moving on Phaholyothin Road in Bangkok, but they may be returning from a standard military exercise.

3pm: Protesters have blocked some roads around Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport today, disrupting access. We believe transport routes to Suvarnabhumi Airport are unaffected.

11.41am: Anti-government protesters have gathered at a number of locations around Bangkok today, including TV stations. UDD ‘red shirt’ protesters are holding a rally at Aksa Road. Visitors to Bangkok are advised to exercise caution and avoid all protest sites.

11.38am, Saturday: PDRC and anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban is due to give an address from Government House at 4pm today. Protesters are still camped outside TV stations in a bid to pressure them to televise the speech.

10.10pm: First order of business by the new Senate speaker:

9.13pm: The first reaction to the newly-elected Senate speaker comes in immediately:

9.03pm: Appointed senator, former deputy senate speaker and anti-government protesters’ favorite Surachai Liangboonlertchai voted Senate speaker, beating Jongrak Jutanont with 96 to 51 votes.

8.57pm: Votes are being counted now, Surachai leads:

8.38pm: 127 senators are now voting for a new speaker:

8.10pm: The reason why the senate is playing such a crucial role now is not only that this is the only representative body left in the country (thanks to the ruined elections earlier this year), you’d need 3/5 (90 out of 150 senators) of the vote impeach Yingluck Shinawatra – which is not necessarily a given the latest results of the senate elections recently. Also, the anti-government groups claim that the senate can also install a new “neutral” PM (see Bangkok Pundit‘s analysis).

8.05pm: After quite a lengthy session in the senate today and with Suthep’s mob waiting outside the parliament building, they’re now going ahead with the vote for the senate speaker:

5.56pm: While the protesters are continuing to threaten TV stations to broadcast their announcements and not the government’s (and a spokesman of the ‘Democrat’ Party being audacious enough to see nothing wrong with that), protest leader Suthep speaks to the crowd and calls for the Senate to “find a way out” of the political impasse, but stops short of saying how exactly (adding “or else they say we pressured them”) – and yet still insists to have the “people’s government”.

3.51pm: CORRECTION: The senate has NOT voted a new speaker. Surachai Liangboonlertchai is nevertheless the action senate speaker since he is the deputy. It is not certain if one will be voted today.

So where did the error come from? These two tweets by the Bangkok Post are the culprit.


3.27pm: Meanwhile the senate has elected the appointed senator Surachai Liangboonlertchai as their new speaker, to which Bangkok Pundit notes:

3.15pm: Protest leaders Suthep, Somsak Kosaisuk and spokesman Akanat are now in the reception room of the parliament, appointed Senator Paiboon Nititawan has greeted them.

2.42pm: It looks like that the protesters have also built a stage at Rajaprasong again after their “Bangkok Shutdown” effort earlier this year:


2.20pm: Protest spokesman Akanat Promphan has just been interviewed on their TV outlet Blue Sky Channel. He said the protesters will hand over a petition to the senate, calling for the creation of “a neutral government” since “Thailand doesn’t have one anymore!” He thanked the TV stations that will broadcast their speeches (with some even not showing the CAPO announcements according to himself) for their “cooperation”…

2.12pm: Suthep is already on the move to the parliament.

2.00pm: +++RECAP+++ Anti-government protesters are besieging Government House and CAPO, pressuring TV stations to broadcast their speech, and will march to parliament later at 3pm. Meanwhile, the new Senate is meeting today.

1.56pm: Suthep will lead protesters from Government House to Parliament at 3pm.

1.51pm: Associated Press on earlier clashes outside CAPO offices:

Four people are reported injured at the Center for the Administration of Peace and Order, the government’s security command center, where protesters on Friday tried to push down barbed wire-topped concrete barriers outside the compound.

The incident occurred as more than 10,000 protesters are marching through the Thai capital to show that the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra by a court earlier this week is not enough.





12.45pm: Teargas fired outside CAPO offices after anti-g0vernment protesters attempt to remove barricades:

12.43pm: Suthep’s use of the words ‘sovereign power’ in the update below are significant. Read more about that here: Likhit Dhiravegin interview – Part 1: On Suthep’s ‘sovereign power’ grab

12.40pm: Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban’s ultimatum:

We will regain our sovereign power and set up a people’s government and a people’s legislative council.

We want the change of government to be smooth. But if you cannot do it smoothly within three days, we the people will do it in our own way.

12.25pm: A brief rundown from Associated Press:

Traffic is snarled around Bangkok as protesters are marching to Government House — the prime minister’s main office. They also have surrounded several public television stations to, in their own words, ask for cooperation in stopping broadcasts on government news.

The latest rally on Friday comes two days after Yingluck Shinawatra was removed from power by a court on grounds that she had illegally transferred a civil servant to another post. Yingluck supporters and many analysts criticize the ruling as politically motivated.