Govt coordinating with Election Commission to hold new elections


BANGKOK, Feb 14 – Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanjana was assigned to meet with the Election Commission (EC) to discuss new elections in 28 constituencies where voting did not take place during the Feb 2 snap poll,  caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said.

Ms Yingluck said she wanted the country to return to normal as soon as possible and that the new elections in 28 constituencies in eight provinces, if successfully held, will pave the way for the opening of the House of Representatives and national reform.

Regarding a proposal to appoint former deputy premier Visanu Kruengarm to mediate the political conflicts, Ms Yingluck said she would not object to a capable person’s role but “please do not describe it as a negotiation since there are plenty of elements that need to be raised for discussion.”

“The most fearsome issue is not an attempt to topple the government by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee or independent agencies, but a move to undermine the rule of law under democratic system,” she said.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva called on the government and EC to urgently resolve the new elections in unsuccessful constituencies.

He said the Democrat Party would continue providing evidence and information to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on the government’s alleged corruption in the rice pledging scheme.

Ms Yingluck, in her capacity as chairperson of the National Rice Policy Committee, is implicated in the case.

Mr Abhisit said the former Democrat MP from Phitsanulok, Varong Dejkitjavikrom, will give more information on the rice scandal to the NACC next week.

Meanwhile, Akanat Promphan, spokesman of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), said the three-day “Love Thailand, Goodbye Thaksin Regime” activities will be held at four anti-government rally sites – Pathumwan, Ratchprasong, Asoke and Silom, starting today.