ALONGKORN Ponlaboot, a former whip for the National Reform Council, said yesterday that he was undecided about running for the chairmanship of the Reform Steering Council (RSC).
If there were other members more suitable, he was ready to support them, he said, adding that he would let the RSC decide.
Some RSC members have suggested that the post go to the most senior members, such as Tinnapan Nakata, a PM’s Office minister during the Suchinda administration in 1992.
Suriyasai Katasila, a political pundit and director of Rangsit University’s Thailand Reform Institute, said the first RSC meeting should not rush to elect the chairman and deputy chairs. The members should first get to know each other and unveil their vision for reform.
There was no need for many committees, as the NRC had already gathered much information.
He presented the RSC’s working framework, featuring a mechanism to support the Constitution Drafting Committee by appointing a panel to hear public opinions on the draft charter and present the information to the CDC.
The RSC can also appoint a panel to analyse the reform blueprint for 37 aspects and six reform platforms that the NRC had presented to the National Council for Peace and Order.
The RSC should not appoint panels to work on reform issues but only select urgent issues such as corruption, police reform, law enforcement, bureaucratic reform, natural resource management and national reconciliation.
The RSC should also form a panel to review outdated laws and present its views on organic laws for the new constitution. It should establish a mechanism to accept public complaints by linking with the Damrongtham Centre and other state agencies.
Meanwhile, Amnuay Klangpha, a former Pheu Thai Party MP and whip, said that to ensure the new charter is democratic, CDC chairman Meechai Ruchupan should amend Article 35 of the provisional charter, which imposes 10 conditions that restrain the CDC from freely composing the charter’s contents.
Otherwise, the new version would not be any different from the failed attempt made by the Borwornsak-led CDC, he said.
Democrat Party member Poomsan Seniwong na Ayudhaya suggested that Meechai learn lessons from studying the rejection of the Borwornsak charter by the NRC and analysing the past charters since 1974.
The new charter should strengthen political parties and not weaken them. A good charter should incorporate Dharma principles and Thai customs and culture. It should not follow foreign ideas so much that it distorts Thai society.
Meechai should uncover the root cause of the political problems, whether it was structures, political parties or politicians.
This would help protect good politicians from any adverse repercussions from the mechanism to prevent populist policies and parliamentary dictatorship.