Chalerm: Shut offices will reopen Feb 6

All government offices forced to close by People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protesters should reopen for work as usual from Feb 6, caretaker Labour Minister and director of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) Chalerm Yubamrung announced on Monday.

He said those who obstruct the reopening of these offices, particularly PDRC core members, would be arrested.

However, in doing so the CMPO would mainly rely on negotiations, not violence, he said.

"We have to reopen those offices on Feb 6.  I will arrest whoever tries to obstruct it.  I have waited until after the election to do this and am now waiting for arrest warrants, expected on Feb 5.  Feb 6 is indeed an auspicious day," Mr Chalerm said.

Mr Chalerm said the Feb 2 election had been carried out under democratic rules. Because the number of MPs was still short of the required 475 of the total 500 seats in the House of Representatives, the House could not yet convene. It was the duty of the Election Commission to arrange for new elections within 180 days.

The CMPO would be glad to provide help in terms of both police manpower and the delivery of ballot papers to provinces where there were troubles with voting if the EC requests it, he said.

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