Gen Prayuth convenes, chairs meeting with all groups in political conflict

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BANGKOK, May 21 — Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-Ocha on Wednesday chaired a meeting he convened with groups engaged in political confrontation and conflict to seek a way out of the country’s political crisis.

In his capacity as director of the Peace and Order Maintaining Command (POMC), Gen Prayuth called a meeting between political rivals to end the months long political deadlock at the Army Club on Vibahvadi Road this afternoon.

Representing the caretaker government were four caretaker ministers, Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri, Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Varathep Ratanakorn, Energy Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal and Deputy Education Minister Sermsak Pongpanich

Acting Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan did not attend the meeting but he reportedly earlier had a telephone conversation with Gen Prayuth.

Democrat Party representatives were led by party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, Jurin Laksanawisit, Juti Krairiksh, Nipit Intrasombat and Chamni Sakdiset.

The Pheu Thai Party delegation comprised deputy party leader Pol Gen Wiroj Pao-in,  Phumtham Wechayachai, Chusak Srinin, Wan Muhamad Nor Matha and Prompong Noparit.

Five Election Commission (EC) members — EC chair Supachai Somcharoen, Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, Boonsong Noisophon, Pravich Rattanapian and Thirawat Thirarojwit as well as EC secretary general Puchong Nutrawong attended the meeting.

Surachai Liengboonlertchai, Senate Speaker-elect joined the meeting.

The anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) was led by its secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban, Satit Wingnongtaey, Akanat Promphan, Sombat Thamrongthanyawong and Somsak Kosaisuk.

The pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the red shirts, were represented by chair Jatuporn Promphan, Natthawut Saikua, Thida Thawornsret, Veerakan Musikapong and Korkaew Pikulthong.

The Navy, Air Force and national police chiefs also attended the meeting.