By The Nation
POLITICAL PARTIES want to hold negotiations with the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) or its proxies, Anek Laothamatas, the chairman of the Political Reform Committee, said yesterday.
The parties were not clear about the agenda, but Anek, whose committee has been responsible for discussing reconciliation and political reform with politicians, said he believed the move was a good sign for national unity.
If all the parties and the NCPO could get together it would allow them to familiarise themselves with each other, which would be advantageous for the political process, Anek said.
“In the future, I see that elected leaders will be significant. Meanwhile, if there is a proxy party, it will have a prominent role to play in the election as well as in the administration, alongside the winners of the election,” Anek said.
He said it was essential to find a solution to make the next election a victory for everyone rather than a small group of people.
The government and opposition had to work together to create democracy and make politics work for the national interest, he said.
Previously, the NCPO had opened a discussion stage for politicians to voice their ideas. But it was unclear if the talk came to fruition.
Regarding reports that the two major parties could join to fend off a non-elected prime minister who could arise with the help of a proxy party, Anek said that the idea would be difficult to implement.
He said the two parties had adversarial political bases and in order to work together, they would have to first convince their followers and win their support.
The new charter, he said, clearly stated that the junta had the power to select a Senate that would have the authority to co-select a prime minister. It was impossible to keep the junta from future politics, he added.
During General Prem Tinsulanonda’s term as prime minister in the 1980s, Thailand was under a quasi-democracy and his government did not have its own party, Anek added.
Prem’s administration governed the country with a mixture of civilian and military personnel and was open to scrutiny. Anek urged today’s parties to consider Prem’s approach although it should be up to the people who they choose as their leader.
Meanwhile, Pheu Thai heavyweight Sudarat Keyurapan suggested yesterday that parties should focus on the path to the coming election rather than on how to keep the military at bay.
Sudarat said parties should be thinking about how to approach the election. It was crucial for people to participate through their elected representatives so that democracy could be maintained, she said.