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Election not the only way to strengthen democracy: forum

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, Kittipong Kittayarak, permanent secretary at the Justice Ministry, said at a seminar yesterday.

He was speaking at a public discussion hosted by the Eisenhower Fellowship Alumni (Thailand) yesterday on "Leadership and the Increasing Role of the Civil Society for Developing the Country".

Democracy can be strengthened if everybody takes part in finding solutions to end the political crisis, he said, adding that reconciliation would only happen if the common needs of all stakeholders in the conflict are found and if their demands are met.

He said the red- and yellow-shirts as well as the masses of whistle-blowing protesters wanted political reform. He then offered some strategies to end the political conflict, such as not limiting political reform to hostile political factions but adding more players to participate in the political reform forum. He also suggested that the demands of political leaders had to be reduced and the people's voices heeded more.




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