Abhisit quits as MP ahead of PM’s election

Declaring that commitment to the people is stronger than a resolution of the party, former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has quit as a member of parliament, effective today.

“Of the seven sins in society, one is politics without principle. I cannot commit that sin, hence, it is necessary for me to quit as an MP as of this moment” Abhisit said at a news conference in parliament this morning.

His sudden resignation came one day after his failed attempt to dissuade the party from joining Palang Pracharat’s coalition and form an independent opposition instead. The party decided by 61 to 16 votes on Tuesday in favor of joining the coalition, with two abstentions and one invalid vote.

The abrupt resignation is likely to shake the party’s stability, although it will help relieve Mr. Abhisit of the dilemma of either having to vote for General Prayut Chan-o-cha as prime minister or defying the party’s resolution.

A joint sitting of the House and Senate is due today for the election of the Prime Minister. The two candidates are General Prayut of the Palang Pracharat-led coalition and Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, who was nominated by the seven-party alliance led by the Pheu Thai party.

Mr. Abhisit said that he had unsuccessfully tried his best to explain to his fellow party members which political path the party should take, adding “When the attempt failed, (I) had to decide what to do personally.

The first thing is to offer an apology to the people who voted for the Democrat party because they thought the party would keep to the ideology that I had announced. The second thing is, (I) cannot defy the party’s resolution but (I) cannot vote in support of General Prayut because (I) had made a promise to the people. My commitment to the people is of greater import than the party’s resolution.”

He maintained that his political stance of objecting to General Prayut’s continuation in politics remains unchanged.

If people have no idea about the malpractices of the junta or the Thaksin regime, Abhisit suggested they read George Orwell’s books, “Animal Farm” and “1984”.

“I said at the party meeting that the party is not duty-bound to protect the honor of an individual, but it is duty-bound to protect its own honor, just as it is my duty to protect my honor,” he said, adding that the only way to protect his honor is to quit as an MP effective today.

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