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Thai gov't rejects election delay despite protest

English.news.cn   2013-12-26 23:01:00            

BANGKOK, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's caretaker government said Thursday that it has no legal power to postpone the general election slated for February 2, 2014 despite anti-government protest which led to deadly clash between demonstrators and police.

In response to the Election Commission's call for delaying the election, deputy prime minister Pongthep Thepkanchana said in a televised address that there is no law allowing the government to do so.

"The February 2 election will go ahead," he said.

Anti-government demonstrators insisted they would not allow an election to take place until caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra relinquishes power.

Echoing Pongthep's view, Pheu Thai Party's legal expert Bhokin Bhalakula said returning power to the people would ease conflict, dismissing the electoral body's demand as "lack of responsibility".

"The people should show their judgment through the election," he said.

Pheu Thai party leader and Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan said the best solution to the political conflict is to return power to the people, urging the EC to be firm in its mission by completing the election.

One policeman was killed and at least 35 protesters injured in scattered violent confrontation on Thursday outside a Bangkok stadium where representatives of 30 political parties drew lots for electoral numbers, the government's Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order reported.

The Ministry of Public Health said 96 protestors were injured and four of them in critical condition.

A total of 14 protestors were arrested on Thursday on charges of impeding the election process and intruding on state property.

Editor: yan
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