By PIYAPORN WONGRUANG,
THE NATIONAL Reform Council decided yesterday to vote on the draft charter in the first week of September as well as hand in its reform work to the government before it reaches the end of its term.
NRC chief Thienchay Kiranandana said the council had met yesterday to discuss the last few key tasks it has in hand before it is dissolved. The NRC has decided to meet for a final time on August 22 to wrap up its work.
Thienchay said the NRC would also hand over its framework for the country’s future and five reform plans – derived from its former 37-reforms agenda – that it believes will help push the country forward.
He said he believed that some of its strategies would help rid the country of fundamental problems and help ease deep-rooted ones such as inequality.
He said the council had prioritised its reform agenda, as the interim charter’s amendments had cut down its time frame. Before the provisional charter was amended, the NRC would have remained in place until the next general elections, but now it only has two months left.
Thienchay said the NRC was still undecided as to exactly when it would vote on the draft charter, adding that it was a toss-up among September 5, 6 and 7.
He added that with the council’s term being drastically reduced, it had missed out on two major tasks, namely helping explain the new charter to the public ahead of the referendum and formulating organic laws as per the interim charter.
As to whether the NRC had wasted time, he said: “We have offered some recommendations to the government and it has passed them on to concerned agencies. We know that some reform work affects fundamental structures, but I believe the government will take it further.”
NRC vice president Borwornsak Uwanno, who also leads the Constitution Drafting Committee, called on the council members to vote on the new charter in an unbiased manner. He also urged them not to think too much about whether they will be selected to be part of the new Reform Steering Committee, which will replace the NRC.
Yesterday’s closed meeting is believed to have been tense as the NRC was forced to cut its agenda of 37 strategic reforms down to five, which some say are too few to resolve the country’s many problems.