By The Nation
The committee invited key political figures to give their comments on the committee’s reform proposals in a focus group observed by the media.
The committee, one of 13 panels appointed under the new national reform law, has proposed five prime reform issues. Those are: a free and fair election to promote political reform, religious-based democracy, political culture and public participation promotion, reconciliation and conflict resolution, and decentralisation and fair distribution of resources.
However, two invitees – former demonstration leader Suriyasai Katasil and ex-political reformer Paiboon Nititawan – told the committee that its proposals were not yet clear enough, Matichon reported.
Reconciliation, for instance, had not been addressed clearly in the proposal, Suriyasai said.
Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, the outgoing Election Commissioner, said the current rules on elections under the new EC law have placed some limitations, especially the tight timeframe for election preparations by concerned parties, raising the question how well a quality election could take place.
He suggested that the rules be amended to ensure a free and fair election.
Ekachai Srivilas, director of the Office for Peace and Governance at King Prajadhipok’s Institute, additionally suggested that local elections precede the national election to strengthen the newly introduced processes.