Thai PM refuses to resign despite growing crisis

September 4th, 2008 - 9:31 am ICT by IANS  

Bangkok, Sep 4 (DPA) Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej Thursday refused to resign from his post despite growing pressure on him to step down after failing to evict thousands of protesters from Government House, the seat of power, for more than a week.”I cannot leave because under a democratic system no one group can force me to resign,” Samak said in a broadcast to the nation Thursday morning. “I will stay on to heal the country’s democracy.”

Samak, Thailand’s prime minister for the past seven months, has been under growing pressure to resign since Tuesday when pro-government and anti-government groups clashed in a pre-dawn street battle in Bangkok that left one person dead and 43 injured.

Although he declared a state of emergency on the same day and put the army in charge of solving the crisis, the army has thus far refused to use force to evict the anti-government protesters who have seized the seat of government, raising serious questions about Samak’s credibility as a leader.

Thousands of followers of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) have occupied Government House since Aug 26 demanding Samak’s resignation.

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