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Thai caretaker government opts to keep election date unchanged

English.news.cn   2014-01-15 18:54:25

Residents attend a rally to support election on Feb. 2 and protest against the planned "Bangkok shutdown" led by anti-government protester on Jan. 13 in Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 10, 2014. The Election Commission (EC) of Thailand urged the government to scrap the Feb. 2 election as it is doomed to fail, the EC said here on Friday. (Xinhua/Qin Qing)

BANGKOK, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Thai caretaker government resolved on Wednesday to go ahead with the Feb. 2 election though the Election Commission had persistently called for postponement for three months.

Acting deputy premier Pongthep Thepkanchana announced that the caretaker government under acting premier Yingluck Shinawatra had agreed with representatives of political parties vying in the nationwide polls and high-level government officials to keep the polling date unchanged.

Election Commission secretary general Puchong Nutrawong attended Wednesday's meeting with the caretaker government on behalf of all five polling commissioners who earlier called for the polling date to be rescheduled from Feb. 2 to May 4 to avoid anticipated unrests at and around polling units, especially those in the capital and southern provinces.

Nevertheless, Pongthep said that the polling agency could ask the Constitutional Court to rule if the polling date could be rescheduled or not as long as the constitution is concerned.

The Democrat Party and anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee did not attend the meeting. They have been pressing the acting premier and her caretaker government to step down and to indefinitely call off the election.

"The authorities including the military have overwhelmingly agreed to work in support of the election. They will certainly provide assistance to the Election Commission to run the election the polling date of which will remain on Feb. 2," said the acting deputy premier.

He said neither the caretaker government nor the polling agency is allowed to put off the scheduled election as long as the constitution is concerned.

Meanwhile, the "Bangkok shutdown" by anti-government protesters headed by former deputy premier Suthep Thaugsuban went on into a third day on Wednesday.

Suthep has vowed to manage to take custody of Yingluck and members of the caretaker cabinet and force them to step down.

The protesters continued to lay siege to several government premises in the heart and outskirts of the capital to force government personnel to quit working.

They occupied several major intersections in the inner part of the city under the "Bangkok shutdown," forcing motorists to take detours or simply stop using private vehicles.

Buses and taxi cabs cannot even pass through the protester- occupied streets and many commuters opted to use elevated or underground railways instead.

The house of former premier and Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva in Sukhumvit area was slightly damaged by an explosive Tuesday night. Nobody was reported injured in the mysterious bombing. Abhisit is known to have evidently endorsed the anti- government protests.

Police are yet to locate and arrest those allegedly involved in those incidents.


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Editor: Mengjie
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