[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Thai parties fail to agree on new elections

Talks on a roadmap to elections end with no breakthrough after the opposition withdraw.

Last updated: 22 Apr 2014 22:33
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
PM Yingluck Shinawatra has been embroiled in accusations of corruption and may be ordered to step down [Reuters]

Thailand's political impasse has been met with continued obstacles after talks called by the country's Election Commission (EC) to draw a roadmap towards elections ended with no breakthrough after the opposition withdrew at the last minute.

Tuesday’s meetings between Prime Minister Yingluck’s party and rival groups ended with no solution after the opposition party pulled out, leaving the kingdom to continue without a fully functioning government or parliament since December.

The EC called for talks to discuss a new election date with political rivals including the main opposition Democrat Party, which boycotted the last round of voting.

I will not attend the meeting because of security... No one from the Democrats will attend.

- Abhisit Vejjajiva, Democrat Party leader 

"I will not attend the meeting because of security," Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva told news agency AFP, without specifying the nature of the concerns.

Representatives from more than 50 other political parties joined the talks, according to election officials.

During talks, election officials proposed three possible voting dates of July 20, August 17 or September 14 but have been accused of wanting to stall elections. The EC, which has in the past been accused of siding with the opposition, says it needs several months to organise new polls, leaving the country in legislative limbo.

Power grab

The talks come as PM Yingluck, who won by a landslide election victory in 2011, could be ordered to step down within weeks after accusations of corruption.

Thailand's first female prime minister is accused of the alleged improper transfer of a top civil servant as well as dereliction of duty linked to a loss-making rice subsidy scheme.

Her supporters see the moves as an attempted power grab.

The backdrop is an eight-year struggle between a royalist establishment - backed by parts of the judiciary and the military - and Yingluck's family, which has traditionally recieved strong support in the northern half of Thailand.

Yingluck's "Red Shirt" supporters have vowed to take to the streets again to defend her administration, raising fears of a bloody new chapter in Thailand's long political crisis.

Mass protests by the Red Shirts in 2010 triggered a military crackdown under Abhisit's government that left dozens dead.

382

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.