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Progress of Efforts to Push for National Reform

October 15, 2013 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

Some progress has been made for the Government’s efforts to push for reforming Thailand on the path to finding solutions for the country.

Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office and Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Varathep Ratanakorn spoke about progress of the reform in the weekly program “Yingluck Government Meets the People” on 12 October 2013.

Mr. Varathep said that, after the Prime Minister chaired the first meeting of the national reform forum on 25 August 2013, three working groups were formed to look into political reform, economic reform, and social reform. The groups have addressed the political, economic, and social issues from the studies undertaken earlier by various groups, such as the Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand and the Political Development Council, under King Prajadhipok´s Institute.

According to Mr. Varathep, the three working groups have set major points in each issue. For instance, major points in the economic issue include the economic structure, the country’s competitiveness, and related regulations. Among major points in the social issue are the social structure and social disparities. The political issue consists of several points with different views, but all the views aim to move the country forward.

He said that sub-working groups will be formed to study in detail each point, and results of the study will be submitted to the national reform forum, chaired by the Prime Minister. The sub-working groups are scheduled to submit results of their study by the end of December 2013.

Mr. Varathep said that the Government had invited all parties to join discussions on the political reform. The opposition Democrat Party, the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy, and the Group of 40 senators turned down the invitation. They called for the delay in constitutional amendments and the scrapping of the proposal for an amnesty bill.

He quoted former Prime Minister Banharn Silpa-archa, coordinator of the national reform initiative, as saying that the national reform forum aims to move Thailand forward. This does not mean that the past should not be raised for discussion, but it should not be focused upon and become an obstacle to efforts in moving the country forward. Proposals for constitutional amendments and for amnesty are considered the matters of legislators. The Government wanted all parties to join the forum without conditions.

Mr. Varathep stated that the constitutional structure was one of the major topics of discussion. It might change according to the passage of time, but everyone must respect rules. In this regard, the sub-working group on this issue should gather the views of all sides to be included in its report.

He said that although the constitutional structure might change, the democratic system with the King as Head of State must be upheld.

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