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Abhisit offers to skip next election

Posted by pakin On May - 2 - 2014

Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva announced on Thursday he will not stand for election if all sides accept his proposal for reform, to show there is no hidden agenda in his campaign to talk all sides into ending the political deadlock.

”Let me announce my clear position. If all sides accept my proposal, I will not run in the next election,” he said in a statement.

He was taking this stance to demonstrate his determination to support reform, with no desire for any political position.

He did not say whether his party would contest the polls.

The Democrat Party leader also questioned the latest move to organise a general election on July 20. He said an election called amidst conflict would not provide the answers to the political problem.

“The options offfered by the government or the PDRC (People’s Democratic Reform Committee) could lead to clashes between people. I am of the view that all these options are risky and are not the answer for Thailand,” he said. To pursue this course would lead to loss of life, he warned.

Conflict tensions heightened on Wednesday after it was announced a new election is scheduled for July 20, with the PDRC’s call for a new major rally being countered by a planned demonstration by  the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).

The new date for the general electrion was agreed at talks on Wednesday between the Election Commission (EC) and the caretaker government. The EC will draft a royal election decree, which needs approval by the caretaker cabinet before it is sent to His Majesty the King for endorsement.

PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Wednesday declared the anti-government movement’s final battle with a major rally to begin on May 14.

Red-shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan countered with a call for a new rally on May 5.

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra also faces a court decision crucial to her political fate.

The Constitutional Court will rule on her legitimacy as prime minister following the Supreme Administrative Court’s ruling in March that the order transferring Thawil Pliensri from the position of secretary-general of the National Security Council to an inactive post as prime minister’s adviser was unfair and unjustified.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will also decide whether she should take responsibility for the loss-making rice-pledging scheme as she chairs the National Rice Policy Committee.

Mr Abhisit criticised the government’s push for a quick general election as a desperate attempt to prolong its hold on power.

A new election should not be held until all conditions are right, he said. It must be free and fair, acceptable to all parties, and lead to the formation of a new government and a new House of Representatives. The present situation was clearly not favourable for that outcome.

The Democrat leader is in the final stage of his bid to convince all sides to accept his proposal, which includes reform and a late poll, with the ruling by the court and the NACC decision expected before mid-May.

He said that reform was the key to move the country out of crisis. It must be carried out ”immediately”, but could not be completed before planned new elections.

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