Reform bars Pheu Thai, says Yingluck

Reform bars Pheu Thai, says Yingluck

The US assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel on Monday met ex-prime ministers Abhisit Vejjajiva and Yingluck Shinawatra, who expressed her concerns the Pheu Thai Party is being excluded from the reform process. 

Accompanying Ms Yingluck was former foreign minister Surapong Tovijakchaikul, former deputy prime minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisal and former secretary-general to the prime minister Suranand Vejjajiva.

The hour-long meeting touched on the political situation including the reform process as well as the recent vote by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) to impeach Ms Yingluck, a source at the meeting told the Bangkok Post.

The United States raised concerns about the inclusiveness of the reform process and also asked how the new constitution, which is being drafted, would turn out.

Ms Yingluck said she wanted to see Thai democracy return but told Mr Russel that Pheu Thai was being left out of the reform process.

Mr Russel was also told that Pheu Thai did not know how the new charter would look but it suspected it may not be as democratic as hoped.

Mr Russel was quoted as saying that the impartiality of judicial institutions is important for people to have confidence in them.

Referring to her impeachment by the NLA, Ms Yingluck said she is prepared to go through the judicial process facing her if it is fair. But she added that a fair process means that cases against the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and Mr Abhisit should proceed as well.

She was referring to the Abhisit government's actions during the 2010 crackdown on red-shirt protesters which resulted in 99 deaths.

Many of those cases were not even being investigated, she told Mr Russel.

Mr Surapong told reporters the US envoy was told about the unfair procedure to oust Ms Yingluck who faces the same fate as her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

"The premier who came to power from an election has to face impeachment by those who were appointed. It is not democratic. It will affect the confidence of the world community including the US which adheres to democratic practices," Mr Surapong said.

In the 25 minute-discussion with Mr Abhishit and the Democrat delegation, the US envoy discussed political issues, particularly when the next election could be held and martial law, which he said had been imposed for an unusually long period, according to the Democrat deputy leader Kiat Sittheeamorn.

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