Thai party wants martial law lifted

By Xinhua

Bangkok : The People Power Party of Thailand Tuesday renewed its call for the government to lift martial law in northern and northeastern provinces.

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The party’s deputy leader Sompong Amornwiwat was quoted by local news network The Nation as saying that it would be embarrassing for the country in the eye of the international community if the election is held while the provinces are still under martial law.

On Monday, the cabinet decided to further lift martial law in some parts of the country in an apparent move toward normality of the political atmosphere before the upcoming Dec 23 election.

The cabinet agreed that the martial law, currently imposed in 27 provinces nationwide, would be limited to as few areas as possible, Deputy Prime Minister Sonthi Boonyaratkalin said.

After last year’s military coup, which toppled the Thaksin government, martial law was imposed in all 76 provinces of the country. After two orders this year, only 27 provinces are now under martial law.

The northern province of Chiang Mai, hometown and political stronghold of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the northeastern province of Buriram, home of Thaksin’s close aide Newin Chidchob, are among the provinces remaining under military rule.