PM insists he will not step down
By The Nation

Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat has stood firm on his decision not to step down or dissolve the House of Representatives despite the latest rally staged by antigovernment protesters, government spokesman Nattawut Saikua said Tuesday.

Nattawut said the government would not yield to the undemocratic and unconstitutional attempt by the antigovernment People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) to force it out of office.

He was referring to the PAD'S aggressive move to besiege Parliament which prevented an important House meeting, the seizure of the temporary government offices at the Don Mueang Airport by PAD protesters, and the barricade of other state agencies.

"The prime minister insisted that he was elected by voters. And if he will have to lose his job, it must be in line with the law or democratic principles. He won't make his political decisions due to pressure from outside the system," the spokesman said.

Premier Somchai would continue with his work after returning to Thailand from the AsiaPacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru, according to the spokesman.

"The PAD may call their latest rally a victory, but it has caused damage to Thailand and Thai people. And they won't be able to force the government to stop performing its duties," he said.

The spokesman said authorities were collecting evidence against those who violated the law, particularly those responsible for cutting off power and water supplies to state agencies and for commandeering public buses. Police would appeal the Administrative Court order that bans violent suppression of protesters by presenting the latest evidence.

The spokesman said authorities would still resort to nonviolent means in dealing with PAD protesters although some acts of their leaders were against the Constitution.