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Leaders of the protest movement trying to overthrow Thailand’s government outlined their aims at an armed forces seminar on Saturday but military leaders declined to take sides or say if a February election should take place.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra called a snap election on Monday, when 160,000 people besieged her office. She remains caretaker prime minister but the protesters want her to go now, with political reforms pushed through before any election
More than 40 countries have expressed support for the planned general election in Thailand on Feb 2, acting Foreign Minister Surapong Towichakchaikul said on Saturday.
In an address broadcast by the Thai Television Pool of Thailand, Mr Surapong said these countries included the United States, China, Russia, England, France and member countries of the European Union.
These countries support an attempt to settle the ongoing political conflict in Thailand by peaceful means under a democratic system and the constitution, he said.
The minister said the refusal of anti-government protest leader Suthep Thugsuban to join a government-sponsored forum on reform planned for Sunday showed that his group did not listen to other people’s opinions.
If the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) managed to set up a government without a democratic election, Thailand would lose its credibility and the international community would not support the country, said Mr Surapong.
He called on businessmen and academics supporting Mr Suthep’s plan for an appointed “people’s council” and people’s government to think twice about the possible negative effects of such a move on the country