Pattaya Daily News

25 September 2010 :: 14:09:02 pm 40561

Early Elections Forecast for Thailand

Abhisit tell Foreign Relations at the UN General Assembly that an early election could take place in early 2011 if all goes well.
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Thailand, 25th September 2010: Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Thai Prime Minister has said on Friday that elections could take place earlier than planned in 2011 if the opposition Red Shirts prove they can remain peaceful.

The Prime Minister said in talks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York where he was attending the UN General Assembly, “We believe that six months more of continued stability should be able to set the scene for a possible early election next year, but that very much depends still on how the opposition Red Shirts respond. If they would prove that they are interested in democratic movement, peaceful assembly and rejection of any illegal activity and of course violent activity, I think we should be on course to achieve a solution.”

Early elections are a key demand of the Red Shirts opposition movement.

Although Abhisit, the British born Oxford educated head of the Democrat Party does not have to go to the polls until the end of 2011, he had proposed holding elections this November, but the plan was shelved when opposition protests in April and May ended in a bloody crackdown and riots in Bangkok.

 

 Ninety people were killed with 1,900 injuries in the army assault in a bid to clear away the protestors on May 19th.

Protestors campaigned for elections that they hoped would oust the government which they viewed as undemocratic, because it came to power with the backing of the army after a court ruling threw out the previous administration.

Most of Red Shirt leaders are either in jail or wanted on terrorism charges for their roles in the two month long rally.

Abhisit insists that elections could take place, but only once stability had returned saying, “I don’t believe in elections where there can be intimidation, threats or use of force.” He acknowledged that “We cannot claim to have returned the situation to complete normalcy, but said that “ordinary people are not affected by the emergency rule.”

Abhisit defended himself against accusations of damaging media freedoms, saying that only outlets which incite violence had been closed. “I am not sure whether you would allow any special stations for Al-Qaeda here,” he told his mostly American audience.

Despite the instability, Thailand’s economy is performing strongly, the premier said, with GDP expected to grow eight per cent this year and exports are growing at 30 percent a year.

Bursts of violence continue to afflict the country say police and a small bomb hidden in a rubbish bin exploded in a residential area of Bangkok on Friday injuring three people.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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