UN Chief Welcomes ‘Orderly Conduct’ of Thai Election

Posted July 5th, 2011 at 3:00 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is welcoming the “orderly conduct” of Thailand's parliamentary election, as victorious Puea Thai leaders begin talks on forming a government.

Mr. Ban issued his statement from New York late Monday, saying he hopes the voting will help “consolidate democracy, reconciliation and stability” in Thailand. A pan-Asian monitoring group, the Asian Network for Free Elections, was expected to announced the results of its observation mission in Bangkok Tuesday.

Also in Bangkok, Puea Thai leader Yingluck Shinawatra met Tuesday with party leaders for talks that were expected to include a preliminary discussion of cabinet posts.

Ms. Yingluck, who is expected to be confirmed as Thailand's first female prime minister when parliament convenes, announced Monday the formation of a coalition with four smaller parties that will command almost three-fifths of the seats in parliament.

Since her commanding victory in Sunday's election, Ms. Yingluck has stressed her desire for reconciliation after years of national discord following a military coup that ousted her elder brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, in 2006.

The 44-year-old political novice told reporters Tuesday that no Cabinet positions will be decided until the election results are formally certified. But when announced, the selections will be closely watched for signs of how much influence Mr. Thaksin will have over the new government.

Outgoing Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwon insisted Monday that the armed forces will accept the results of Sunday's election and not attempt to interfere. But analysts say the coup-prone military will not be pleased if Ms. Yingluck moves quickly toward a pardon for her brother or a detailed investigation of last year's violence between soldiers and pro-Thaksin Red Shirt demonstrators that took more than 90 lives.

Mr. Thaksin is currently living in Dubai to avoid a prison sentence in Thailand on corruption charges that he says were politically motivated. He has told reporters since the election that he is not interested in resuming an active role in Thai politics.