Thailand’s interim PM: Elections must come before reformBy Asian Correspondent Staff May 12, 2014 4:47PM UTC
Thailand’s interim Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan rejected anti-government protesters’ demands for reform before election Monday, insisting that elections must come first.
“It’s the law,” he said.
Niwatthamrong, who replaced acting PM Yingluck Shinawatra after she was ousted by the Contitutional Court last week, said he hopes to meet with the Election Commission on Wednesday. He said he was hopeful that elections will go ahead on July 20 as planned, but that they could delayed by a short amount of time.
“We hope and expect the meeting on Wednesday [with the Election Commission] to be successful,” he said.
Whether the opposition Democrat Party would take part in any polls remains unclear after they boycotted polls in February. Niwatthamrong said he hopes that the Democrats will take part for the sake of the country, but that ultimately “it is their choice”.
The interim PM was quick to point out the legitimacy of the current government, despite calls from People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leader Suthep Thaugsuban’s for a new prime minister and an app0inted government.
Niwatthamrong also insisted that he and his Cabinet are committed to a peaceful solution to the current political crisis.
“We don’t want violence, we don’t want any killings… I don’t think there will be a civil war,” he said.