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Tongthong to invite 100 people to reform talks tomorrow

Tongthong Chandransu, the permanent secretary for the Prime Minister's Office, said yesterday he would invite 100 individuals from different sectors to participate in a discussion about political reforms tomorrow.

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has given Tongthong the job of speaking with representatives from all sides in an effort to find a solution to help ease the political impasse.

The meeting will be held at Bangkok's Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre from 9am tomorrow.

Tongthong said the 100 people invited would come from seven major business organisations, the People's Democratic Reform Committee and the King Prachadipok's Institute, and would include university rectors, permanent secretaries, police and military officers, state enterprise employees, the media and senators.

Political parties would also be asked to send two representatives each to the meeting.

Tongthong said he would also try to invite former prime minister Anand Panyarachun and social critic Prawase Wasi.

He said the meeting would initially be chaired by the most senior person present, before a chairman and secretary were selected.

So far, no agenda had been set, Tongthong said, adding that he had prepared information about legal technicalities, the royal decree for the House dissolution, the Constitution and opinions from all sides as issues to discuss.

Those invited could send topics for discussion to him in advance. Tongthong said the talks could not be completed in a single day, but he hoped discussion about reform would yield a roadmap for Thailand before the New Year holidays so all sides would willingly join the February 2 election.

Former members of the Democrat Party will not join the meeting as they believe the government is the cause of political conflict, spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said.

The discussion will be broadcast live on NBT and viewers can send thoughts via SMS to 4221559.


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