January 15, 2014 00:00 By Hataikarn Treesuwan The Natio
The snap election will not be delayed from February 2, as the majority of participants at a special meeting held to consider the matter agreed it should go ahead as scheduled, caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced on Wednesday.
Yingluck was speaking after attending the meeting, which considered the Election Commission’s recommendation that the election should be postponed. Representatives from 37 parties participated in the meeting, which was held at the Air Force Auditorium.
“The election will be held on February 2. The meeting was united against a delay as suggested by EC. The government and EC have no authority to postpone the poll,” she said.
EC secretary general Puchon Nutrawong represented EC at the meeting. The five EC commissioners did not attend.
Neither Permanent Secretary for Justice Kittipong Kittayarak, who earlier posted on his Facebook page that the election should be postponed for three to six months nor any representatives of the Democrat Party and the antigovernment People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) were present.
Yingluck said she regretted that the EC had refused to join this forum because the government wanted to be made aware of any problems concerning the election.
Rak Thailand Party leader Chuwit Kamolvisit walked out from the meeting, saying he saw no benefit from attending the event as the key stakeholders, such as the Democrats and the PDRC leaders, were not present.
He noted that the discussion would not yield a good result, without the presence of protester leader Suthep Thaugsuban and Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva.
"If they're not here, what would we get from this meeting. The roads remain closed and our children can't go to school... The prime minister, a female, is here but the men like them didn't show up. I'd rather leave," he said and walked out of the room.