Abhisit: Election not the solution

Political problems will persist even if a new election is held successfully, which is why national reform is needed first, says Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The best solution for the country is to quickly carry out reforms on which all sides of the conflict can agree, Mr Abhisit wrote on his Facebook page.

He said that while caretaker government still wanted polling to take place on July 20, the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) was pressing ahead with its plan to reclaim sovereign power. Meanwhile, the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) has told its supporters to start rallying to protect democracy.

"I've expected all of this to happen and this is why I've proposed the road map. Although the government rejected it, many sides have begun to show interest in my plan," he wrote.

Mr Abhisit has been seeking support for a plan to delay the poll while the Election Commission toughens its rules to ensure a fair vote. At the same time, reforms would be drafted and put to a public referendum. If the reforms are approved, an election would go ahead but the winner would serve for only one year with a mandate to carry out the agreed reforms. After that, another election would take place.

"We'll have a Senate speaker [Surachai Liangboonlertchai] who is ready to cooperate while the PDRC secretary-general [Suthep Thaugsuban] is urging senior figures in the country to help solve the problem in accordance with the law," said Mr Abhisit.

"Now, it's up to the government and the Pheu Thai Party if they want to jointly find a solution for the country."

He said no side would triumph entirely because neither a successful election nor the PDRC's plan to take back sovereign power would bring about peace.

"Carrying out reform under the constitutional framework where all sides agree is the best solution and we'll have to decide if we want to walk in this direction."

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