Ms Yingluck who is also caretaker defence minister said in Chiang Mai province yesterday that she would not join a debate with Mr Suthep, secretary-general of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), as her government was only listening to opinions from concerned parties on national reform.
Mr Suthep challenged the prime minister on Wednesday night to a debate via the TV Pool network to discuss comparisons between her proposed NRC and his people's council.
According to Ms Yingluck, 11 top military officers, state officers, academics, private sector representatives, and experts, will set conditions to nominate 2,000 representatives from all professions and these 2,000 nominees will then elect 499 councillors from among themselves.
Meanwhile, Mr Suthep proposed 400 people's council members. Of them 300 are representatives of professions and 100 are nominated by the PDRC itself.
Mr Yingluck recommended that Mr Suthep air his opinions in the NRC.
Ms Yingluck denied Mr Suthep's assertion that the 11-member committee that will work out the organisation of the NRC would be under the influence of her elder brother and deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. She said the committee would only design the organisation of the council and would have nothing to do with the election of its councillors.
Isara Vongkusolkit, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, yesterday urged the government to review its NRC initiative and consider solutions that the private sector had formulated from its neutral forums for the sake of true national reconciliation.
He pointed out that many parties including people's organisations did not respond to the NRC idea, so it was unlikely to solve national conflicts in either the short or long term.
Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, former president of the National Institute of Development Administration, said yesterday that the NRC proposal from Ms Yingluck was questionable because the proposer was unreliable as she has never come up with such an idea before.
She came up with the idea after the PDRC recommended a people's council, he said.
According to Mr Sombat, her government's previous initiative to set up a national reform forum with veteran politician Banharn Silpa-archa as its head proved to be a publicity stunt and any reforms from the proposed NRC to solve the country's problems would not be realised unless they served the aspirations of the Pheu Thai Party.
Mr Sombat said the people's council which the PDRC had proposed under Section 7 of the constitution would have legislative authority. This would guarantee that any solutions formulated would be implemented.