Statement: National Reform Council

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Official translation.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Respected fellow Thai citizens,

Amid the ongoing political conflict, I would like to express my gratitude to academicians, businessmen, and fellow citizens from various sectors who wish well for the country and have given opinions in order to find a resolution out of the present conflict cycle for our beloved country.

From different discussion forums, seminars or various opinions expressed through mass media during the previous two weeks, I gathered that most do share similar opinions, particularly on public participation in making political decisions, the inspection of the use of governmental power at all levels, strengthening the political system and political development, and protection of democratic system under constitutional monarchy.

In various reform forums, an idea of establishing a body for national reform has been proposed which could be carried out in parallel with the general election to be held on February 2, 2014, as scheduled in the Royal Decree.

I fully agree that it is now time to develop a mechanism to push forward and mobilise national reform. I, therefore, would like to propose to establish a forum so called National Reform Council.

As to who will become members of the National Reform Council, I would like to affirm that the National Reform Council is not a governments forum.  And if parties agree, the government will only establish the council by an order of the Prime Ministers Office and will be acknowledged by the Cabinet to ensure that the process can begin immediately.

The National Reform Council will be a genuine council of the peoples representatives. Selection of members of the National Reform Council will begin with the recruitment of 2,000 representatives from various professions. Then, the 2,000 representatives will select 499 members of the National Reform Council.

Qualifications, criteria, application method, recruitment and appointment of representatives of professional groups, as well as selection of members of the National Reform Council will be determined by a commission comprising qualified and knowledgeable persons comprising of the following members:

1. The Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces or a representative of the Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces which may be either the Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army, the Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Navy, or the Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Air Force

2. Two Permanent Secretary-level persons nominated from the meeting body of permanent secretaries of the ministries and head of agencies.

3. The Secretary General of the National Economic and Social Development Board.

4. One university president nominated from the meeting body of the Council of University Presidents of Thailand.

5. Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce or representative.

6. Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries or representative.

7. Chairman of the Thai Bankers' Association or representative.

8. The Chairperson and two experts will be nominated by the above commission members.

This committee, thus, will comprised of 11 members.

The responsibilities of the National Reform Council are:

1. To study and prepare proposals for amendment of the Constitution, which may include preparation of draft amendment of the Constitution.

2. To study and prepare proposals for the national economic and social restructuring, and to study and prepare proposals on peoples participation in public administration.

3. To study and prepare proposals for amendment or abrogation of law, rules, regulations or commands in order to ensure fairness and transparency of elections in every level, selection and appointment of persons for various positions, exercise of government authority, and inspection of governments use of power.

4. To study and prepare proposals for prevention and suppression of corruptions and misconducts in public agencies, both of political officials and permanent officials of state agencies.

5. To study and prepare proposals for improvement of decentralisation of power, knowledge promotion on laws, preparing and strengthening of communities, regulation structure of state administration in all levels, improvement of budget system and procedures, and human resources management in public sector.

Once the National Reform Councils work on one of the above points is done, the National Reform Council must submit a report to the Prime Minister, and publicly disclose the report in order for the subsequent implementations of concerned parties.  The time frame of the process will be determined by the National Reform Council.

As for the concern on continuity of National Reform after the general election on February 2, 2014 and after the assumption of the new Government, there will be stipulation that once the new Cabinet assumes the office, Secretary-General to the Cabinet must present the Prime minister and the Cabinet for their approval of the implementation of the above based on the intent and direction approved by all parties.

What I have said is a format aiming for exchange of discussions and dialogues from every sector. The Government will compile comments and suggestions for further improvement and issuance of command before the end of this year.

I would like to invite all to be aware of the mission on national reform, which is a duty of every Thai citizen. This mission is for the sake of all Thai citizens happiness, benefits, peacefulness, reconciliation, unity, and prosperity, as well as for our future posterity.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 26/12/2013 at 01:12 AM
If the above reforms were adopted there would be a politican left.
Discussion 2 : 26/12/2013 at 12:17 AM
My dear fried Kaiser, the anti govt critics mirror their favored party whose 4 operational pillars are: object, obstruct, protest, and file suit. Not one single positive action or policy to move the country forward, only a barrage of criticism. Pretty easy job eh?
Discussion 3 : 25/12/2013 at 11:28 PM
With the timeframe given, this is clearly a case of all proposals already decided upon, and just like the water management forums the people's voice will be shut off completely, How can she think the people will believe a forum can be held in less than 7 days that decides from scratch a reshaping of the country, from changing the constitution to a working plan to fight corruption, and a revamping of election laws to stamp out voting fraud, in less that a week. The fish are getting ripe in the barrel again, and her lips are moving. Watch out.
Discussion 4 : 25/12/2013 at 10:30 PM
It's a start, Dems can come up with a counter proposal, and meet somewhere in the middle. The process for selecting the 499 members needs scrutiny, it should not be part of some mass election.
Discussion 5 : 25/12/2013 at 08:16 PM
Thais should give the Govt a chance to deliver. We must be think positively if not; any proposal to reform the country would be shot down regardless of whether they are good proposals or not. It's a good start.
Discussion 6 : 25/12/2013 at 08:05 PM
She still didn't get it, it did not sink in yet. Ma'am, the trust in you and your cronies is lost the night you tried help your brother to the expense of Thailand. You showed your colours. Move on and take the clowns with you please. Thailand will do just fine without you and the clan.
Discussion 7 : 25/12/2013 at 08:03 PM
Some you you dudes fascinate me. All you do all day long is _bashing Mrs. Yingluck. Talk of armchair critics. What are your solutions? At least the lady is proposing something, give her a break! By law it's impossible to give legislative power to an appointed council. All the resolutions of the council must be mandated in parliament for it to become law. That's call democracy. The alternative is a Sovereign National Council with full powers to legislate but then Mr. Suthep &Co wouldn't go for that. Stop the bashing, think, criticize constructively and offer possible solutions. Merry Christmas.
Discussion 8 : 25/12/2013 at 08:00 PM
Just trying to prolong the time, do you really trust the thieves who want to help change the laws and get themselves caught?
Discussion 9 : 25/12/2013 at 06:23 PM
Dont trust this government , this is part of the games !
Discussion 10 : 25/12/2013 at 06:12 PM
PT say they will reform the corrupt, cronies and nepotism in Thai Politics LOL ....next they will tell us there is a Santa A drastic action to buy time in power for them to bleed even more billions from the Thai people
Discussion 11 : 25/12/2013 at 05:58 PM
Singapore just concluded its 1 year long public discussion with majority stakeholders big and small, some of those recommendation has already been put into effect while others may require changes to the law and that need parliament debate which will take time. Thailand being much bigger much more divided will take much longer and a lot will require changes to the country constituition but will those behind the powers allow it, that is question they must answer first before they proceed to talk.
Discussion 12 : 25/12/2013 at 05:54 PM
I hope you didn't think they play with open cards: "To study and prepare proposals for "...
Discussion 13 : 25/12/2013 at 05:45 PM
"... present the Prime minister and the Cabinet for their approval". How about "Present to the government for implementation in full and without exception" instead ?. Pheu-Thai have shown themselves to be entirely untrustworthy and weasel-words like this are their trademark.

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