The Nation



Acting prime minister insists on elections

File photo : Niwatthamrong

File photo : Niwatthamrong

Acting prime minister insisted Monday that new elections are the only way to resolve to the protracted politicalcrisis.

Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan said the caretaker government was willing to work with all sides to end the impasse, but stressed thatit 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."

Niwatthamrong will meet with the Election Commission Tuesday to find a possible date for new elections. He said he would not be a candidate. He also insisted that the government has a good working relationship with the army and maintains constant communication.

Anti-government protesters moved their rally site in central Bangkok to the area surrounding parliament on Monday, hoping to pressure the Senate to appoint an interim government to institute reforms before any new elections.

But key Thai institutions are resisting demands to install anappointed government to make political reforms.

Analysts said the Senate, the Electoral Commission and various courtswere unlikely to implement such a plan because it would put them at risk of breaking the law and exacerbating the conflict. The government’s emergency response agency also vowed to arrest those who have been leading the protests in the capital since November.

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