Prawit distances govt from ‘reform before poll’ call, solicits ideas for ‘social contract’

politics March 21, 2017 01:00


DEPUTY PREMIER Prawit Wongsuwan, who chaired a reconciliation committee meeting yesterday at the Defence Ministry, said the recent proposal by the People’s Democratic Reform Foundation (PDRF), seeking “reform before an election” had nothing to do with the government’s “road map to democracy”.

A sub-panel of the committee would review and combine ideas from all proposals submitted, including the PDRF’s, into a “social contract” at a later date, he said.

Prawit said the committee’s working groups had assured him that their work in forging reconciliation “ was on the right track”.

Participants at the meeting yesterday were told by advisers to the committee to meet as many people as possible to ensure the project was successful.

Prawit also said he had instructed officials to ensure that people know what the committee has been doing. They should also know how the country would move forward, he added.

Talks in provinces as well as Bangkok 

The committee has organised talks with 72 political parties and groups, as well as 60 civil organisations. Forums have been |held in the provinces, as well as in Bangkok, in a process expected to conclude on Thursday. 

The committee will hold public hearings in April before wrapping up the proposals and developing a paper regarding the “social contract” by June, said Maj-General Kongcheep Tantrawanich, chair of the committee’s sub-panel on public relations.

Kongcheep said Prawit had emphasised that reconciliation work was being done on behalf of all Thais and they should have a chance to take part and gain benefit. 

Representatives from civil society are scheduled to speak with the military on reconciliation this week.