Thai caretaker PM refuses to resign

Bangkok, Jan 15: Thai caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Tuesday insisted that she would not resign from the caretaking post as anti-government protesters have demanded, Xinhua reported.

Yingluck said she would continue to perform her duties as a prime minister because she was obliged to protect democracy that belongs to Thai people.

According to Yingluck, she will take part in a meeting scheduled Wednesday morning to discuss whether the Feb 2 general election will be postponed to May 4 as proposed by the Election Commission (EC).

The government needs to solicit opinions from various sides before taking further action, Yingluck insisted.

The government will invite about 70 people from all sides to the discussion, but it remains unsure if representative of the Democrat Party and the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) would turn up.

Protest leader and secretary general of the PDRC Suthep Thaugsuban earlier categorically refused to join the discussion.

EC member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said all five EC members would not attend Wednesday’s meeting, but a representative would be sent instead.

According to Somchai, the EC does not believe the discussion, which involves a large number of people with conflicting opinions and interests, will yield anything but more conflict.

Somchai said the EC had asked PM’s secretary general Suranand Vejjajiva to set up a meeting between the EC and Yingluck Thursday and was now awaiting a reply.

He said should Thursday’s meeting be arranged, all EC members would show up and a decision on whether to delay the election could be made that day.

IANS