Thai Prime Minister open to talks with protesters

Thailand`s new Prime Minister today offered talks with his political rivals trying to topple the government, even as protesters marched to the vacated premier`s office compound as part of their "final push" to install an unelected leader.

Bangkok: Thailand`s new Prime Minister today offered talks with his political rivals trying to topple the government, even as protesters marched to the vacated premier`s office compound as part of their "final push" to install an unelected leader.

"We are open for dialogue," said Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan, who took over as the premier last week after a court dismissed Yingluck Shinawatra and nine of her ministers from office.

"Let`s talk. But let`s talk realistically," he said at a news conference for foreign reporters.

"I don`t think there will be a civil war. It has been six months and we manage to run the country quite well," Niwattumrong said.

He insisted that new elections are the only way to resolve the protracted political crisis.

Niwattumrong said the caretaker government was willing to work with all sides to end the impasse, but stressed that it must be done "within the framework of the constitution."

"Any attempt by the courts (to launch a judicial coup) is done so at their own risk," he said. "We have legal mandate."

Meanwhile, Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, ended the months-long occupation of Bangkok`s Lumpini Park.

He led thousands of supporters to the area surrounding parliament today, hoping to pressure the Senate to appoint an interim government to institute reforms before any new elections.

Protesters also planned to march to their new base outside the prime minister`s office compound.

The People`s Democratic Reform Committee, which has been campaigning for six months for the ouster of the government, launched its "all-out final battle" after Yingluck was ordered to step down as premier on Wednesday by the Constitutional Court over the illegal transfer of her security chief.

Another court indicted her for negligence over a controversial rice subsidy scheme and Yingluck will face impeachment that could see her banned from politics for five years.

The two court decisions have bolstered the opposition which has been demanding Yingluck`s ouster for months.
So far, 25 people have been killed since the anti- government protesters began their campaign in November.

The Election Commission and Yingluck-led government earlier reached an agreement to hold elections on July 20 after the February 2 snap polls were declared null and void.
The anti-government protesters accuse Yingluck of acting as a proxy for her fugitive brother, former premier Thaksin, who was ousted in a coup in 2006.

Thaksin lives in Dubai on a self-exile to avoid jail for a corruption conviction that he says was politically motivated.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link

Close