European Union may boycott Thailand if it delays election: Surapong


BANGKOK, May 22 – Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said he received a signal from the European Union (EU) that it might boycott Thailand if the next general election is delayed in the country.


Mr Surapong said that after the imposition of martial law in Thailand, the EU issued its letter to express its concern regarding Thailand. He said the expression indicated that if the next election was delayed or there was a coup, the EU and the United States would certainly boycott Thailand.

“I call on Gen Prayuth Chan-Ocha, the Army chief, to prompt the Election Commission (EC) to organize the election. Otherwise, a referendum can be held to ask people if they want the election before reform or vice versa so that people will be the decision makers. An election can happen during the imposition of the martial law,” Mr Surapong said.

Mr Surapong said some insiders saw attempts to have a coup and that it would cause the Thai economy to decline in the next ten years because it would be unacceptable to the international community.

Meanwhile, EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen praised Gen Prayuth for exercising the martial law and mediating political conflicts. He viewed the movement as the beginning of peace restoration in the country.

Mr Supachai also said that the EC was ready to cooperate with politicians’ decisions as to whether to hold the next election or a referendum.