Thai PM says elections coming soon

14 Mar 2011

Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva stated in his weekly television programme yesterday that the government would resign in May. He elaborated by saying that in the first week of the month he would seek an audience with the Thai monarch to state his intentions.   

Mr Abhisit made the declaration in his ‘Confidence in Thailand’ programme broadcast on the state television channel (NBT) yesterday morning. He elaborated by saying that it was time to give power back to the people to enable them to guide Thailand’s future.  

He said that his government wanted the country’s populace to choose whether to give his Democrat led government the support needed to carry on resolving economic problems or to go back to the old political impasse. The last election in Thailand was on 23 December 2007, and was held just over a year after former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in a bloodless military coup.   

The People's Power Party (PPP) did not gain an overall majority in the 2007 election and was forced into forming a coalition government with several smaller parties. The following year saw two prime ministers before the PPP was disbanded and barred from ruling after being found guilty of electoral fraud.

In December 2008, a senior military officer brokered a deal that saw Abhisit Vejjajiva sworn in as Thai prime minister without ever having won a general election. Since that time, Thailand has witnessed periods of civil unrest, mostly demonstrations by United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) supporters loyal to Thaksin, that has seen martial law imposed and then removed.   

Tags: Thai elections soon

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