By PRAVIT ROJANAPHRUK,
THE DECISION to amend the interim charter to allow National Reform Council (NRC) members to be appointed to a new reform council is a way for Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha to ensure total obedience from the new body, as the members will not be
However, others are welcoming the move as they believe the NRC is under-performing.
Chiang Mai law lecturer Somchai Preechasinlapakun said it was clear that NRC members who were against the plan for Prayut to stay in power two more years would not be appointed to the new body, while quiet members would work on pleasing him in the hope of being appointed.
Weng Tojirakarn, co-leader of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, agreed that the new reform body would be composed of “people who can be ordered to toe the line”. He warned the government to think twice about the plan and said prolonging its stay could lead to a bloody end.
Yet, NRC member Seree Suwanphanont saw the move as positive, saying it would make the current reformers focus on the draft charter debate, as their terms would expire soon. He said he was ready to leave after his term ends.
Thammasat University political scientist Attasit Pankaew said disbanding the NRC was good because it was under-performing. “These reformers have not produced many results. They merely discuss daily political matters and propose to amend the draft charter. Appointing a new council could be another strategy for the government to actually produce tangible results,” he said.