As Thailand’s political turmoil spills into its sixth month, opposition party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva is emerging as an unlikely volunteer to spearhead efforts to end the political deadlock. Democrat Party leader Mr. Abhisit has been meeting with key political figures, including the Armed Forces Supreme Commander, to discuss ways to find solution to the country’s political conflict. On Tuesday, Mr. Abhisit and party officials met with five members of the Election Commission to discuss a new election after Thailand’s Constitutional Court last month nullified the Feb. 2 vote. His Tuesday meeting with the Election Commission didn’t reveal much about how the political deadlock will be broken. Mr. Abhisit didn’t say whether his party will contest in a new election. “The Election Commission and I view that the current political climate makes it hard to hold a successful election,” he told reporters after the meeting. “There are still concerns whether a new poll would solve the problem.”
Mr. Abhisit’s Democrat Party, which hasn’t been able to win an election since 1992, boycotted the Feb. 2 election. Mr. Abhisit didn’t say on Tuesday whether the party will contest in a new round of elections. But in his video statement released last week, the Oxford-educated 49-year-old said the way forward for the country is through constitutional and democratic reform, although he did not elaborate on details of his ideas.
Thailand has been rocked by political turmoil brought on by massive street rallies aimed at toppling Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra since November. The pressure forced Ms. Yingluck to call a lower house dissolution a month later. Antigovernment protesters accused Ms. Yingluck of being a proxy for her powerful brother, former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by the military coup in 2006. Ms. Yingluck denied the claim.
An elderly Thai anti-government protester cheers during a rally at the Metropolitan Electricity Authority in Bangkok, on April 23. European Pressphoto Agency