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New Thai PM vows reconciliation through justice

New Thai PM vows reconciliation through justice

Thailand's new prime minister has vowed to reconcile the country after more than two years of instability by promoting justice, political reform and economic revival.
Abhisit Vejjajiva took office last month in the aftermath of chaos caused by the blockade of Bangkok's two airports by an anti-government protest group. A court ruling of electoral fraud forced the then-Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat and his government out of office.
Speaking at a dinner of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand on Wednesday, Abhisit described his new responsibility as "incredibly difficult."
Just a day earlier, his government approved a $3.3 billion stimulus package to shore up the economy, which has been battered by the global downturn and domestic political turmoil. Abhisit said he hoped the package would show results by next month that could be sustained into the second and third quarters of the year.
Abhisit vowed to restore stability after almost continuous unrest that began with a 2006 campaign to oust then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra for alleged corruption and abuse of power.
The trouble crested late last year when protesters who opposed the pro-Thaksin government occupied the prime minister's offices for three months and besieged the airports for a week, stranding more than 250,000 travelers.
Abhisit's critics have challenged him to prosecute the protest leaders, including several members of Abhisit's Democrat Party.
Abhisit would not say if any specific prosecutions were planned, but said there could be no "reconciliation unless there is justice."
He admitted his critics "have every reason to suspect that this government would be partisan in the sense of being biased and not pursue these cases in a just manner."
"I intend to prove them wrong," he said.


Updated : 2020-12-04 19:24 GMT+08:00