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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   14  January 2014  

Govt urges all stakeholders to join talks to resolve political crisis

 BANGKOK, Jan 13 - The Thai government has called for a meeting with the anti-govt People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), the opposition Democrat Party and all other stakeholders in an attempt to resolve the political crisis and reconsider postponing the February 2 election as proposed by the the country's Election Commission (EC).

Following the EC letter sent on Sunday to caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra calling for the postponement of the February 2 snap poll, Secretary General to the caretaker premier Suranand Vejjajiva said Ms Yingluck has instructed her deputy, Pongthep Thepkanjana, to call a meeting on Wednesday in an attempt to resolve the current political conflicts. The premier will chair the meeting herself among participants from the EC, all political parties, the PDRC, supporters and  those against the election, Constitutional Court, National Human Rights Commission as well as the Council of State.

Monitoring the Bangkok Shutdown rallies since early Monday morning, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, in his capacity as chief of the Centre for Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO) thanked all the protesters for their peaceful gathering. He said there is no need to declare a state of emergency in Bangkok as yet and police can cope with a week-long protests.

Mr Surapong said Ms Yinglcuk assigned him to discuss with the EC is there are legal possibilities for postponing the elections. He said the government has not rejected the EC’s proposal but the poll agency should suggest possible ways on how the elections can be postponed.

Meanwhile, the red shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) rallied at varied locations nationwide in a prelude to their stand against the anti-government rallies in the capital today.

Red shirt leader Thida Thavornseth remarked during a telephone interview with the Thai News Agency on Monday that the UDD supporters have begun rallies in four provinces including Chiang Mai province in the north, Khon Kaen and Ubon Ratchathani provinces in the northeast and Ayutthaya province in the central plains opposed to the the PRDC's seizure of Bangkok and the EC’s call to postpone the February 2 elections.

Ms Thida claimed the UDD’s move aims at calling on all parties to comply with the law otherwise the country would not be able to move forward.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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