Dems remain split over election boycott; bigwigs to decide Saturday


BANGKOK, Dec 18 – Thailand’s main opposition Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Tuesday that the party remain undecided whether to field candidates in the Feb 2 general election or not but the party’s newly-elected executive board will conclude the matter this Saturday.

The newly-reelected party leader said there are differing views on the issue so that party branches nationwide will garner opinions before the meeting of the executive board scheduled for this Saturday to make a conclusion.

No matter whatever the outcome, it will impact the party, Mr Abhisit said. It will be a painful decision either way. But if that could move the country towards a better future, the Democrats are willing to do so.

The tough challenge facing the country is national reform in accord with democracy without violence, he said.

Mr Abhisit insisted that the party had nothing to do with the People’s Democratic Reform Committee as the anti-government movement has pursued its own agenda independently even though some of the masses

continue their support or supported the Democrat party in the past.

The Democrat party has not won elections in decades.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved the lower house of Parliament last week in an attempt to defuse the current political crisis caused by the PDRC-led anti-government protesters.

The political turmoil has seen hundreds of thousands of protesters marching in the streets to make demands, and temporarily occupy the government complex and some key ministries. They demanded the ouster

of the caretaker premier and wanted to establish an unelected people’s council to rid the country of what they called ‘Thaksin regime’ and corruption.