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Seminar

Both sides urged to propose reforms, talk

BOTH SIDES of politics should propose reform formats - and talk to one other - if there is no election within the legal time-frame of 60 days, a seminar on the crisis was told yesterday.

Ekkachai Sriwilas, a senior official at King Prajadhipok's Institute, said proposals on reform should be presented to the public in the meantime, and a deal made between Yingluck Shinawatra's caretaker government and the "people's revolution" movement led by Suthep Thaugsuban, under which the next government must adopt an approved format.

He said Suthep’s call for Yingluck and the caretaker cabinet to quit was practical, but warned that a future decision by the National Anti-Corruption Commission to impeach coalition MPs over their roles in the constitutional amendment over changes to Senate elections could lead to a civil war. He did not elaborate on this.

Independent academic Amorn Wanichwiwat said he did not mind Suthep's call for a People’s Council but said it should be established with mutual consent by all sides and the public.

He said a general election should be held with both sides proposing their reform format as a key policy.

Another independent academic, Weeraphat Pariyawong, criticised the stance of the People's Democratic Reform Committee for constantly pressuring the Yingluck government. He said the Democrat Party, who joined the PDRC, should take part in the election on February 2.

In other news, intellectual Thirayuth Boonmee voiced support yesterday for the anti-government movement, saying it had done a good job exercising the people's power against state authorities and scrutinising government corruption.

He said the unprecedented show of public force via massive rallies and marches was a realisation of the public's lawful rights, and he wished the PDRC success. Thirayuth also cautioned the group over rushed efforts to win acceptance for its reform measures such as a people's council and national government, saying that would only drive away the neutral mass and sceptics.

The PDRC should also show political will and propose practical measures such as moves to fight graft, and its stance on political and economic agendas and the decentralisation of administrative powers.

People from grass-root levels and community intellectuals should also be invited to take part in any PDRC-driven reform, to prevent criticism against elitism, he said.


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