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Right men for the job

Re: "Election not the only way to strengthen democracy: forum", Politics, January 9.

Kittipong Kittayarak, permanent secretary at the Justice Ministry, said that holding an election is not the only answer and that a checks-and-balances mechanism is needed. Hence, the upcoming election should be an election for reform. This is spot-on.

As things stand, though, just the opposite is on the cards. The only party standing in the upcoming election is the one that has outrageously attacked the checks-and-balances system.

Kittipong said reconciliation would only happen if the common needs of all stakeholders in the conflict are found and their demands met. The source of the current conflict is evident enough. It should be removed and the civil service should assume its rightful independent status.

He then offered strategies to end the conflict, one by including more players to participate in the reform forum, another by reducing the demands of political leaders. The people's voices must be heeded more, he said.

Permanent secretaries in the ministries know more about the goings-on in politics than many nodding heads called MPs, and they should play a more significant role in the programme.

Richard Bowler

Bangkok


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