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Archive for Friday, May 21, 2010

Prospect of Thai elections uncertain

May 21, 2010

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— Thailand will not hold elections as demanded by anti-government protesters until passions from more than two-months of political violence are calmed, a key minister said Friday.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva earlier promised polling on Nov. 14 as part of a reconciliation plan to end often-violent protests that had crippled the capital’s central business district for weeks.

But when the proposal was rejected by the so-called Red Shirts, Abhisit said the deal was off and followed that with a military operation this week that cleared the streets but sparked rioting and arson attacks.

“We need to make sure that emotions have cooled to the extent that candidates from all parties can feel safe in campaigning anywhere in the country. Frankly we would not feel safe doing that today,” Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij told reporters after a speech in Tokyo.

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