New speaker vague about next move

Senate speaker-elect Surachai Liangboonlertchai is non-committal on what the Senate would do to ease the political conflict.

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All senators must meet first on Monday or Tuesday to brainstorm on the issue, he said in an interview with Thai media on Saturday.

His main concern is confrontation between two protest groups and the Senate's priority should be to avoid bloodshed.

After the meeting, he might invite head of government agencies and political leaders for discussions.

Asked whether has a solution in mind, Mr Surachai said he had a list of solutions proposed by several groups, ready to be adapted and put into use.

He declined to say whether he supported reform before or after the next election but said he needed to hear the views of other senators first.

As for the anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban's demand that he and the Supreme Court president find a solution by Monday, Mr Surachai said if the solution had been selected, the timeframe was flexible.

He insisted he would consult the other party to the conflict and give it a fair and equal chance to participate in the process.

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