Democrats 'will boycott again'

Democrats 'will boycott again'

Suthep vows fresh nullification battle

The Democrats may boycott a fresh election even if the Feb 2 poll is invalidated by the Constitution Court Friday, according to party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalayasut.

He said Thursday caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, her government and Pheu Thai Party MPs must respect the court's ruling.

If the Constitution Court orders on Friday that the Feb 2 poll be voided, and if the government then rushes to hold a fresh election "too soon", the majority of people and the Democrats will find that unacceptable, Mr Chavanond said.

He said the party is not worried it might face dissolution if it steers clear of an election for a second time.

The Democrats insist a general election should not happen until after national reform is implemented.

His comment came after prime minister's secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva urged the Democrats to contest a fresh poll if the Constitution Court today rules against the Feb 2 election.

Mr Suranand said the Democrats should consider returning to the race, saying their boycott of the Feb 2 poll was to blame for the political turmoil.

The charter court is scheduled to rule on the validity of the Feb 2 election today, amid growing speculation by the Pheu Thai Party as well as anti-government protesters that the poll will be declared void.

Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn said yesterday whichever way the court rules, the political stalemate is expected to continue.

If the court rules against the poll, the red-shirt United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship is expected to oppose it, Mr Somchai said.

If a fresh poll is called, the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) is expected to stick to its plan that reform should precede an election, he said.

Speaking on the Lumpini stage last night, PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban said the PDRC will not allow a new election to be held even if the court nullifies the Feb 2 poll.

“We will be happy if the Feb 2 election is declared void. Then we will call a nationwide movement to make the new election void too,” he said.

No elections should be held unless reform of election law is completed while Pheu Thai should "stop dreaming of returning to power", he said.

The Constitution Court will rule today on a complaint filed by Kittipong Kamolthammawong, a law lecturer at Thammasat University, who claimed the Feb 2 election was unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai Party spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard claimed a carefully orchestrated plot has been hatched to derail the Feb 2 general election.

He said the government's opponents are eagerly anticipating that the court will rule to invalidate the election today. 

He claimed there is a conspiracy against the government, with an elaborate plot to rob the government's power and topple the democratically elected government.

The plot includes the Democrats attempting to disrupt parliamentary debates to portray the parliament as a failed one, and the PDRC disrupting candidate registrations and advance voting in Bangkok and in the South, which is a Democrat stronghold, Mr Anusorn said.

The plot also involves a complaint being lodged against the Feb 2 poll with the Constitution Court via the Office of the Ombudsman even though the office has no authority to do so, Mr Anusorn said.

The final step in the plot was for the charter court to rule against the poll and invalidate it despite the court having no authority to accept the case in the first place, Mr Anusorn said.

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