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    Thai Prime Minister Calls for General Election


    by NTDTelevision

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    Thailand's prime minister says elections are set to be held later this year. And while there's been a slew of anti-government protests in recent month, the prime minister believes that he will still come out on top.

    On Wednesday Thailand's prime minister said that he expected his party to have the edge in a mid-year general election. But he says he will probably need to form a coalition to govern.

    [Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thai Prime Minister]:
    "We are looking at some time around the first half of this year. I think some of the things that we are still looking at is the passage of the constitution amendment."

    [Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thai Prime Minister]:
    "I know the polls said that it's going to be close. We are a bit ahead in the polls and have been so for a bit of time. But, you know, with this there is always uncertainty. But I think we are ready to go to an election."

    Abhisit expects the election to bring political and economic stability to the country.

    [Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thai Prime Minister]:
    "We hope that the election will be part of the process that will bring things back to the parliament. I think there had been some fundamental conflict, in terms of thinking, in term of political differences, following the Thaksin years, following the coup, following the events for last few years. But we are trying to move that back so everybody will have their say. And one of the conditions that I've always said to before about having an election is that we should have a period of stability."

    Thailand's next election is its most important in a decade, given a long-running political crisis that erupted into violent, anti-government "red shirt" protests in April and May of last year.

    In the meantime, the Red Shirts say they will respect the upcoming election.