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Thailand’s Opposing Political Sides Urged to Nominate Mediators

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Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is positioning herself as being conciliatory and open to negotiations in contrast to intransigent protest leader Suthep Thuagsuban

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is positioning herself as being conciliatory and open to negotiations in contrast to intransigent protest leader Suthep Thuagsuban


BANGKOK – Six independent organizations of Thailand on Monday asked the caretaker government and anti- government protesters to nominate mediators to broker talks between the two sides.

In a joint statement, they asked caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Suthep Thuagsuban, secretary general of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, to each name 10 people as mediators.

Ten people will then be chosen out of the 20, five for each side, before a mediation team is set up, according to the statement.

The six organizations include the Election Commission (EC), the National Human Rights Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman, the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the Office of the Auditor- General, and the National Economic and Social Advisory Council. They expect to receive a reply from both sides within a week.

Initially, there were seven organizations that attempted to bring the opposing sides to a negotiation table, but the Office of the Attorney General has withdrawn.

The withdrawal of public prosecutors will not affect the efforts, EC member Somchai Srisutthiyakorn earlier said, adding the National Economic and Social Development Board and the Law Reform Commission are being invited to join in.

Seven independent agencies will propose a plan to broker negotiations on four issues and a six-point road map aimed at ending the political conflict during a press conference on Monday, a highly placed source close to the agencies has revealed

The source said the seven organizations would detail their negotiating framework covering four main areas and a road map involving six steps at the Office of the Ombudsman on Chaeng Watthana Road.

The source said the negotiating framework highlighting the four points are:

1. Whether to proceed with holding election or institute reform before the election, or propose new alternatives that can be agreed by all parties.

2. What needs to be reformed before and after the election and what will be guaranteed to be successful.

3. Whether the current government should continue to work in a caretaker capacity until the election or whether there should be a new caretaker government that is neutral and agreeable to all parties without violating the constitution.

4. How to stop violence and incidents that hurt the country. Each side will be asked to present recommendations to the opposite group as well as guidelines for their own group.

The six-point road map includes:

1. Keep the public informed and allow the people to take part in promoting and pressuring both sides of the political divide to enter dialogue.

2. Meet and listen to the demands of each side.

3. Synthesize proposals from both sides and then create new ones that are neutral and agreeable to them.

4. Coordinate and hold secret negotiations to adjust the proposals of the two sides and make them as compatible as possible.

5. Hold formal meetings between persons of the highest authority on both sides to find acceptable solutions. The meetings will be mediated by six independent institutions.

6. Hold joint press conferences to inform the public of the results of the talks.

The source said the agencies would also address their concerns about the current political situation and the urgent need to find solutions through talks.

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