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Thai PM to promote her country as democratic state

Posted on May 03 2014 | IANS

Bangkok, May 3 : Thai acting Premier Yingluck Shinawatra will reassure the ASEAN community next week that Thailand remains a democratic state despite an internal political conflict.

The premier will firmly declare during the ASEAN meeting in the capital of Myanmar May 11 and 12 that democratic rule has been and will be upheld and maintained, despite anti-government street protests and undemocratic movements against the elected government over the past few months, Xinhua cited Thai acting Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul as saying.

"The ASEAN community will be strongly advised to have confidence in Thailand as a democratic state which will definitely pose no obstacle to the making of the ASEAN Economic Community," Surapong said.

The ASEAN bloc plans to become the so-called ASEAN Economic Community next year with Thailand designed to serve as aviation, land-based logistics and medical hub.

Yingluck will certainly boost the confidence of the Indochinese states in Thailand's ongoing efforts to end the internal political conflict while maintaining the country's economic, trade and investment potentials as well as readiness to join the AEC next year, according to the acting foreign minister.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission is preparing a royal decree for a new election scheduled for July 20, confirmed the polling agency's Secretary General Puchong Nutravong Friday.

The Yingluck caretaker government will forward the decree to the Thai monarch for approval shortly after it is submitted by the Election Commission.

Former premier and Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva called on all parties Saturday to leave politics for a period of about six months to give way for "reforms" to be undertaken by what he called a "non-partisan, provisional government."

He said such a government would only do the "reforms" and would not make or amend any legislation during the "politics-free" period.

"Let's step back and get away from the political arena for a five or six months' time so that the reforms could be carried out smoothly and uninterrupted. The reforms could be done without putting the country's highly-placed institutes such as the judicial branch in trouble.

"Given the proposed reforms, a military coup or any unconstitutional approach and bloodshed could be avoided... It remains to be seen whether Yingluck will step back and leave politics for a five-or-six month time for the sake of the reforms and the country," Abhisit said.

The ex-premier suggested that the acting premier resign alongside her caretaker cabinet to pave the way for the naming of a "non-partisan, neutral prime minister and provisional government" by the Senate speaker.

Abhisit said the "non-partisan, provisional government" will only concentrate on the making of the "reforms" and will not make or amend any legislation.

He suggested that all political parties and the anti-government protesters, headed by former deputy premier Suthep Thaugsuban, submit proposals for the "reforms" while a nationwide public referendum be conducted to endorse their "reforms" bids.

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