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Thai PM Proposes Reform Council to Solve Deadlock while Election Continues

Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks on Thai TV

Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks on Thai TV

 

BANGKOK – Acting Thai Premier Yingluck Shinawatra said on Wednesday she will soon set up a “council for reforms of the country” which will begin to work in parallel to the upcoming Feb. 2 election.

Yingluck announced that the council, to be set up under prime minister’s order, will include 499 members who will be selected from among 2,000 representatives of people in all walks of life nationwide.

An 11-member ad hoc committee will be formed to select the 2, 000 representatives who will later pick the 499 members of the reform council among themselves, according to the acting premier.

The committee will include either the supreme commander or army chief or navy chief or air force chief, a university rector, two ministerial undersecretaries, the Thai Chamber of Commerce president, the Federation of Thai Industries president, the Thai Bankers Association president, the National Economic & Social Development Board secretary general and two other qualified persons.

She said the 499-member council will lay out plans for the reform of the country’s political, social and economic sectors to be endorsed and implemented immediately after the nationwide election is finished, a post-election cabinet is set up and parliament reopens.

“The reform council should pave groundwork for promoting public participation in political affairs and in pursuing national and public interests, examining performances of the executive branch and finding ways and means to fight corruption.

“Given brainstorms being compiled from all sides, the prime minister’s order for the setting up of the reform council should be issued before the end of this year,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission will consider relocating the venue for the application of electoral candidates since the one inside the compound of a Bangkok stadium was occupied by anti- government protesters on Wednesday.

The lot-drawing for electoral numbers is expected on Thursday at a certain place yet to be announced by the polling agency, according to Election Commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn.

The application for party-listed candidates opens until Friday, followed by that for individual constituency-based candidates which will begin from Saturday until next Wednesday.

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