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Thailand’s ruling party to take part in parliamentary election

December 09, 2013, 14:30 UTC+3
The election is scheduled for February 2
1 pages in this article
© EPA/BARBARA WALTON

BANGKOK, December 9. /ITAR-TASS/. Thailand’s ruling party Pheu Thai (“For Thais”) will certainly participate in upcoming election for the National Assembly (the country’s parliament), which must be held within the next 60 days. This said on Monday the party’s leader, Thailand’s Interior Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan.

“We will definitely participate in the next election. Yingluck Shinawatra made ​​the right decision by returning the power to the people. Opposition should stop pressuring the government,” the minister said.

Parliamentary election in Thailand is scheduled for February 2, 2014. According to government’s spokesperson Teerat Ratanasevi, the corresponding decision was made at an emergency cabinet meeting.

Democratic Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said dissolution of the country's parliament and the announcement of new general elections was “the first step” in resolving the political crisis. However, as stated by the party political party on Monday, the final decision on whether the Democrats would participate in the upcoming election is still pending.

In 2005, Thai opposition ignored the National Assembly election, actually exacerbating the political crisis that subsequently led to a military coup.

According to the results of previous elections held on July 3, 2011, the seats at the National Assembly of Thailand are distributed as follows: Pheu Thai has 265 deputies, the Democratic Party — 159, other parties — 76.

 

Oppositionists' leader opposes new election

Suthep Thaugsuban, leader of street demonstrators and former deputy of Vejjajiva in the Democratic Party, refuses to accept the idea of a ​​new election. He insists on the transfer of power from the government to unelected People's Council, which the opposition proposed to create. In this case, a person appointed by the king would lead the state and reform the political system of the country. However, as political experts noted, the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej has repeatedly made ​​it clear in his speeches that despite this right enshrined in the constitution for him he never intended to and does not intend to use it.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra appealed on Monday to King Bhumibol Adulyadej to take a decision on the dissolution of the country’s National Assembly (parliament). According to the constitution of Thailand, the king has the right to dissolve the parliament, but the prime minister has the right to address him with this kind of representation. The dissolution of the parliament also means an automatic resignation of the government, since the cabinet is formed after the election to the National Assembly.

As Yingluck Shinawatra noted in a televised address, since the parliament’s dissolution all members of the government are “temporarily acting” and will continue working until the results of the election are summed up. Shinawatra also said that she would do everything possible to peacefully resolve the conflict with the opposition.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul that also heads the government's Center for law enforcement said on Monday that Yingluck Shinawatra would participate in the preliminary election to the National Assembly that would be held on February 2. “I think Yingluck Shinawatra will participate in the new election, although she doesn’t talk about it yet,” Tovichakchaikul said. He also noted that the new parliament would decide if Shinawatra becomes prime minister again in case of victory of Pheu Thai party that she represents.

 

Situation in Bangkok

Meanwhile, the number of demonstrators that came on the streets of Bangkok on Monday has already reached 100 thousand people according to local police.

Protesters are heading towards Government House, where they intend to make a “final battle for the people's revolution”. Some of them have already arrived on the scene. Traffic in many areas of the city is paralyzed, as the protesters are on the roadway. Many are holding national flags and portraits of the king, and whistle with flutes. One of the biggest columns proceeded on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok's main thoroughfare.

According to city officials, for security reasons on Monday were closed more than 60 schools in Bangkok, and leading universities are also closed. Suvarnabhumi International Airport Administration appealed to departing passengers asking to take into account the complicated situation with the city traffic and to plan the time of arrival in the airport in accordance with it.

Meanwhile, Thailand's central TV channels broadcast an appeal of governmental Center for law enforcement to the protesters asking “to go home without compromising democracy”.

Representatives of the opposition announced that Suthep Taugsuban later on Monday would address his colleagues at the Government House and announce proposals for reforming the government and police.

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