Meeting of EC, caretaker government aborted as PDRC arrives


BANGKOK, May 15 — The meeting of the Election Commission (EC) and the caretaker cabinet was forced to abort this morning as anti-government PDRC protesters arrived at their meeting place at the Royal Thai Air Force Academy at Don Mueang.

Five EC commissioners led by agency chairman Supachai Somcharoen and the caretaker cabinet led by acting Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan met at the Kantarat Convention Hall at 10am but after only 45 minutes the meeting came to a stop after protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban led People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protesters to the meeting venue.

The agenda of the meeting was expected to cover the legal procedures related to the new general election.

The caretaker government proposed to abort the meeting after the arrival of Suthep and PDRC and the caretaker ministers promptly departed the Convention Hall.

EC member for election management Somchai Srisutthiyakorn said later that no agreements or resolution were concluded as the meeting had only begin. No date has been set for the next meeting but it was possible that there would be a video conference meeting to avoid such disruption again.

Mr Somchai said that he believed the July 20 proposed date for the election could be postponed as the meeting with the caretaker government was delayed.

After the Election Commission and the caretaker cabinet departed, Mr Suthep arrived at the meeting room to see whether anyone was still there. 

The PDRC secretary general said that he came to meet Mr Niwatthamrong with no intention to intrude.

He said the PDRC agreed with the election with  the proviso that it must be a free and fair election after political reform has been accomplished.