Bangkok : Thai government on Tuesday brushed aside Election Commission’s proposal to postpone the controversial February 2 snap polls, even as the opposition stepped up protests demanding premier Yingluck Shinawatra’s resignation, reports PTI. The announcement was made by representatives of the government and the Election Commission (EC) after the two sides met here. The meeting was attended by caretaker Premier Yingluck, some of her Cabinet colleagues and all the Election Commission members. Opposition protests continued today as shots were fired near the Bangkok army base where Yingluck was holding meetings. Hundreds of protesters massed outside the base.
Two people were injured in the protests, including an anti-government protester wounded by a gunshot. About 100 activists of the the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) members rallied in front of the Army Club today asking Yingluck to quit. Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana said the government felt the postponement of the election would not solve the problems. He admitted that the government and the EC disagreed on the proposal for the rescheduling of the polls.
During the talks, the Election Commission proposed to postpone the election for 120 days but after discussions it agreed with the government to hold the February 2 vote, deputy government spokesman Chalitrat Chantarubeksa told reporters.
The Election Commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn had earlier said the February 2 snap polls should be postponed by 3-4 months to allow the political parties time to settle their conflict. He said during the period the two sides could negotiate a solution. The parties could then agree on and commit to electoral reforms and move on to an election mode after that, Somchai said.
Unfazed by the warnings, protesters said they will press ahead with their shutdown of Bangkok. A 60-day emergency was imposed by the government last week in Bangkok and some surrounding areas.
Protestor tortured, killed
A Thai man, believed to be an anti-government protestor, was found shot dead in Chatuchak district, police said. Pirapat Sutthasena, a police officer, said he received a report about the incident in the morning, the Bangkok Post reported. The victim wore a shirt with a ‘Fight for Democracy’ message written on it and a wristband bearing the national flag.