Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says she is staying out of Bangkok because she does not want to be targeted or challenged by anti-government protesters, but insists the country's economic problems are not being ignored.
“I want to ask you: Will we fellow Thais no longer look at each other but hate one another?” Yingluck said yesterday at Mukdahan while fighting back tears.
The premier has rarely been seen in Bangkok after being chased by anti-government protesters everywhere she went in the capital. She worked in the North last week and has been in the Northeast this week.
Yingluck said government officials could not report to work because protesters were blocking several state offices in the capital.
Given this, she questioned how the government could run the country, but reiterated she would remain prime minister to protect democracy.
She pleaded with independent organisations to be fair and do their jobs honestly and in a straightforward way so the country could move forward.
She made the plea in response to a reporter’s question about the Ombudsmen’s decision to ask the Constitution Court to rule on whether the February 2 election was constitutional.
Yingluck called on protesters to end their activities, as they have hurt the national economy.
She admitted that the government alone could not solve the political conflict, nor could she and anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban – because they could not reach a decision on behalf of most Thais.
So, she urged protesters to respect the election process or the referendum on national reform.
In regard to the private sector’s demand for the emergency decree to be lifted, Yingluck said the decision rested with the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order.
Yingluck was greeted yesterday by supporters during a visit at Sri Mongkontai Temple in Mukdahan. She also visited a border market and was briefed about the drought in the area.