Democrats turn down invitation to join political reform forum

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BANGKOK, 17 September 2013 Democrat Leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has firmly declined to join the political reform forum recently initiated by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra while reiterating to the Government that it shows sincerity by withdrawing the amnesty bill and the constitution amendment proposal. 

Mr. Abhisit unveiled his stance after a formal invitation was extended to him by the Prime Minister’s envoy, Senior Adviser of Chart Thai Pattana Party, Banhan Silpa-Archa, and several of the party’s core members.

Upon turning down the invitation, Mr. Abhisit said the forum addresses none of the ongoing issues, and the Government’s impartiality is still questionable.

He identified the constitution amendment and amnesty bill as the roots of the conflict, saying that by abandoning them would truly benefit the nation and mark the beginning of the ideal reform for all. Only when that happens would the Democrats be willing to join the forum, Mr. Abhisit stressed.

In response to the Democrat Party leader’s reply, Mr. Banharn promised to relay the comment to the Government. However, he expressed his opinion that, in order to instill peace in the Kingdom, all sides should try to understand one another.