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A viable solution to the impasse

The government and the protest leaders hold face-to-face talks initiated by a neutral person based on the following guidelines and aired live on TV:

1. All parties should agree to contest the snap election scheduled for February 2.

2. The Shinawatra family and its close cronies should voluntarily stay away from the election.

3. The two parties with the most votes should form a joint government regardless of the number of seats won for a period of 12 to 18 months to work on reconciliation as well as charter and legal reforms that are crucially needed to strengthen democracy and root out vote-buying and corrupt practices that are the real cause of the current mess.

4. The prime-ministership and all ministries should be rotated between the two top parties after six to nine months (depending on the agreed tenure of a provisional government) to reinforce and justify reconciliation efforts.

5. An independent council of members having unblemished ethical, social and political records from all walks of life and regions should be appointed to work and suggest political and legal reforms; the council should be required to hold genuine public hearings in each region before compiling solutions/proposals.

6. Independent organisations should be strengthened for vital checks and balances; the Public Service Commission should also be streamlined, with authority to control the bureaucracy without unethical and illegal interference.

7. Once political and legal reforms have been implemented, the House should be dissolved, for a new election and formation of a government through the routine constitutional manner.

8. All civil and criminal cases registered against any party or individuals during the latest protests should be withdrawn to make for a smooth change.

JS

Bangkok


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