Channel NewsAsia

Thailand's political deadlock not over, cautions Abhisit

Thai Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the Constitutional Court verdict has not put an end to the country's political deadlock.

BANGKOK: Thai Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the Constitutional Court verdict has not put an end to the country's political deadlock.

Speaking to Channel NewsAsia, Mr Abhisit said he continues to hope that the various political groups involved will reach a compromise between reform and new elections.

However, he added that his Democrat Party is still not ready to commit to running in fresh polls.

Mr Abhisit mentioned that he spent the last few weeks trying to find a “middle ground solution that can move the country forward.”

“I wanted various parties to at least consider and accept that plan before the court decides, because I think that, now, is certainly the feeling that even after the court case, nothing is settled, and we're still in a deadlock,” he said.

On whether Mr Abhisit will push his reform proposal to the Pheu Thai Party, he said: “It's been made more difficult now because I anticipated that once there is a verdict, there'll be new causes for further conflict.

“I had hoped that by coming to an agreement before the court decision, we would be able to avoid all this.”

Mr Abhisit is not too concerned that his reform proposal plan is not being taken on board, as he is open to the possibility that somebody else might develop a better solution. He does feel the bigger issue is people have suffered enough and want a solution to the stalemate.

The appointment of Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan as acting caretaker prime minister was also met with indifference.

“I don't think it makes much difference you know. It's the most senior deputy Prime Minister who'll be taking over,” said Mr Abhisit.

“But the problem is no longer about the personalities. The problem here is about how we get out of this stalemate. And to do that, I think you just have to reconcile the demands for reform with the need to get back to elections.”

When asked whether the Democrat Party will join the elections and who its candidate will be, Mr Abhisit answered: “That's for the party to decide and again, it will totally be up to how the elections are set up.”

He feels it is unlikely elections will be successful unless some of the demands for reform are met, but does think that it is unrealistic to expect reforms to take place before elections can be held.

Rather, the important things that need to be put in place are “a clear commitment, a sense of irreversibility of reforms, a guarantee and an assurance that politicians and political parties would not meddle with the reforms.” 

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna