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Thai opposition reject PM's national unity offer

Written by: Staff
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Bangkok, Mar 27: Thailand's main opposition parties rejected on Monday an offer from Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to form a government of national unity after April 2 elections to end a protracted political deadlock.

''I think this is Thaksin's new joke,'' said Ong-Ard Klampaiboon, spokesman for the Democrat Party, which is boycotting next weekend's poll because it says it cannot be neutral or fair.

''His point is only to have the election and not to worry whether it is a dirty election or not,'' he said.

Thaksin, who called the election three years early to foil a six-month street campaign to oust him, said late yesterday his opponents would have senior positions in a national unity government even if they took no part in the election.

There was no immediate reaction from the Matachon party, which is also staging a poll boycott, but Chart Thai party officials rejected the olive branch from a prime minister they accuse of corruption and abuse of power.

''It's Thaksin's mirage,'' deputy party leader Somsak Prisnanantakul told a Bangkok radio station. ''He's already rotten and he's trying to drag everyone in to be rotten like him.'' Despite Thaksin's huge popularity with rural Thais, some seats are likely to remained unfilled in a country where the constitution says all must be filled before a government can be formed.

REUTERS

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