The Nation



DAAD mocks Suthep's 'Elite Council' proposal

The caretaker government yesterday held a public forum entitled

The caretaker government yesterday held a public forum entitled

Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship (DAAD) chairwoman Thida Thavornsret yesterday likened the refusal of some protesters to accept the one-person, one-vote system to a failure to treat all humans as equal.

"If you can't accept the one-man one-vote system, I would like to ask you to ponder whether you think some groups of humans are more valuable than others," she said.

She also described the People's Council, proposed by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), as an Elite Council.

Thida announced a clear stance of the DAAD, or red shirts.

"We disagree with the so-called People's Council. We don't think the government should resign," she said at a government-hosted forum.

The forum was held as the government, led by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sought to explore ways to end the ongoing political crisis.

After Yingluck called the House dissolution on December 9, massive anti-government rallies are still going on. The PDRC, which leads the protest, has demanded the establishment of a People's Council to pave way for a political reform before the next general election takes place.

But Thida said yesterday the DAAD wished to see the next election staged on February 2, as scheduled.

Speaking at the same seminar, Bhum Jai Thai Party's leading member Songsak Thongsri suggested that if the government stepped back a bit, all sides would be able to lay down the rule for every party to accept before the poll was held.

"This way, Thailand will be able to move ahead," he said.

Dr Jade Donavanik from the Siam University, who also attended the forum, said since people were trying to find solutions out of the impasse, an election should not the set on February 2 only.

"Several times, the government insists that something cannot be done legally, but look at the charter amendment on the formation of the Senate, the government which had earlier insisted that the law cannot be withdrawn from the Royal consideration, finally withdrew it," he said.

Human rights activist Gothom Arya also joined the government-hosted forum. There, he thanked the PDRC for bringing about an unprecedented political awakening.

He emphasised that political reform needed a continuous process to be successful and so efforts for reform must carry on.

"This process should also engage people and encourage them to express their opinions. The implementation of reform should be clear-cut and tangible," he said.

Regarding the question of whether reform should be done before or after the general election, he said, "Let's do whatever can be done first. Start from now.

"For those that need time to complete, we can do it later but we must do it…The government should not buy time and the Democrats should not boycott the election."

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