Thai oppn leader meets military head over crisis

April 29, 2014 - 2:58:11 am

BANGKOK: Thai opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva met the head of the armed forces to discuss ways to avert a showdown between rival political factions next month that threatens more bloodshed and economic damage.

Former Prime Minister Abhisit, who met Armed Forces Supreme Commander General Thanasak Patimaprakorn, has asked for two weeks to try to resolve the crisis peacefully.

“He supports what I want, which is to bring all sides together to find a way out for the country,” Abhisit told reporters after a two-hour meeting with Thanasak.

“The commander stressed that problems must be solved through political means.”

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has faced months of anti-government protests aimed at removing her and ridding the country of the influence of her brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

The protests are the latest phase of nearly a decade of confrontation between Thaksin and the Bangkok-based royalist establishment who see Thaksin, a populist former telecoms tycoon, as a threat to their interests.

The protesters accuse Thaksin of corruption and nepotism, which he denies.