Thai opposition undecided on election boycott
Thailand’s opposition party said yesterday it remained undecided over whether to boycott snap polls called by the government to mollify massive street protests.
A boycott would likely plunge the kingdom deeper into turmoil, after weeks of street protests against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her brother Thaksin.
Yingluck called the February 2 election after the opposition Democrat Party resigned en masse from parliament on December 8 to join the demonstrations, which have drawn tens of thousands to Bangkok’s streets.
A boycott — which would echo the Democrats stance in 2006 that precipitated the army coup that ousted Thaksin — would placate street protesters, he explained, but risked “long-term damage” to the party by stepping outside of the existing political process.
Conversely, participation would see the party “lose support of the protesters,” spokesman for the Democrats Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said.