Thailand: Parties back PM’s offer of election talks

  • Political parties have welcomed recent remarks by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha in which he said the regime will meet them and various state agencies to sound out an appropriate election date.
  • Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said on 26 Feb 18 the move would provide more clarity regarding the poll date, which would make it possible for agencies concerned to work out exactly when the election will be held.
  • Mr Abhisit also said the prime minister should also meet parties to discuss the ongoing ban on political activities. If he can say when the ban is to be lifted, parties would know how to proceed in preparing for the polls, the former prime minister said.
  • Meanwhile, Bhumjaithai deputy secretary-general Supachai Jaisamut also welcomed the prime minister’s remarks on 23 Feb 18 expressing his desire to hold talks on the election date, which he said was the main focus of public attention, here and overseas. He said the party leader is likely to join any such talks.
  • Key Chartthaipattana Party figure, Varawut Silpa-archa, said the talks proposal was a good sign and allows a free expression of views to be exchanged. His party will be glad to participate in the process, he said.
  • Acting Pheu Thai Party secretary-general, Chawalit Wichayasut’s response was more guarded, saying the party would decide at a later date whether to participate in the talks, if and when it receives the prime minister’s invitation to discuss the election.

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