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NCPO to work with interim government

Prayuth unveils plan for reform council and legislative assembly

An interim government to be formed no later than September will work in conjunction with the National Council for Peace and Order, which will continue to exercise power in a counterbalancing manner under a temporary charter consisting of no more than 50 articles, the NCPO chief said yesterday.

The government will perform the administrative role of running the country, while the NCPO will handle security, Army commander and junta head General Prayuth Chan-ocha said in his televised weekly address.

Occasional joint meetings will be held when necessary, with advice possibly given to the interim government by the NCPO with a view to its being put into action.

But there would be "limitations" in the ad-hoc charter when it comes to solving the numerous problems facing the country efficiently and quickly, he warned.

"If there are normal [democratic] solutions that are wanted by many sides put in place in the covenant, then problems cannot be solved. The NCPO needs an opportunity and the tools to work this all out," he added.

On the question of reforms, which will commence after ongoing reconciliatory projects are complete, a group of 550 people will be selected from all walks of life and professions to work on 11 key problematic issues. Another group of 380 representing the 76 provinces, excluding Bangkok - five from each province - will be nominated later, before they are cut down to 76.

The group of 550 people and the 76 provincial representatives will then be reduced to a total of 250 to tackle 11 groups of problems that have been identified.

The conclusive general agendas from this so-called reform council will be forwarded to the constitution drafting assembly and the interim legislative assembly to promulgate a new permanent charter and relevant laws for future use, the junta chief said.

As to the reconciliation projects, Prayuth called on those with differing political views to first "open themselves up" by learning to live with people with opposite thinking.

"If this cannot be done, there will be no going forward, even when reconciliatory songs are played every day. If you don't open yourselves up, nothing can be fixed. How can everyone live together from now on?" he said.

Prayuth also talked about the NCPO's plans to overhaul state enterprises by setting up a so-called 'Superboard' to work on several issues engulfing those agencies.

Issues that need to be tackled include transparency, improvement of public services without focusing on only making profits for themselves, financial stability for certain loss-making agencies, and a master plan to prevent duplication of work and financial extravagancy.

During his address, he also expressed condolences over the recent rape and murder of a young girl on a train by a State Railway of Thailand employee, and called on the media not to feature provocative content or images in their coverage of the case.

On large-scale projects, including the water and flood-management schemes, the general said this year's plan had been laid out, while the budget plan and future projects for next year were being discussed, possibly with more financial resources needed.

He said the long-term, costly water and flood-management programme would be incorporated into the 12th and 13th national economic plans, covering the next five and 10 years, respectively.

Prayuth also said the NCPO had travelled abroad to countries such as India and welcomed visiting officials from nations such as Myanmar.

Thai and Myanmar generals had discussed further bilateral cooperation in regard to the accommodation of refugees on the border, and future repatriation with refugees' human rights protected.

Other issues discussed concerned the Rohingya people and an agreement not to aid or shelter armed groups based in either Thailand or Myanmar, he said.


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