Anti-govt leaders to meet top brass tomorrow, firm on political reform


BANGKOK, Dec 13 – Thailand’s top brass has agreed to meet with anti-government protest leaders tomorrow to discuss resolutions to the political conflicts.

Suthep Thaugsuban, secretary general of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), expressed appreciation to leaders of the three armed forces and national police bureau for agreeing to the meeting.

He will possibly be accompanied by 40 PDRC executives for the dialogue.

Suthep admitted that he underestimated Ms Yingluck Shinawatra, caretaker prime minister, and had never thought that she would be so stubborn.

Mr Suthep and PDRC core members held talks with representatives from seven private organisations at a Bangkok hotel yesterday to clarify the protesters’ movement and objectives to reform Thailand for stability and people’s well-being.

He told the businessmen that the Yingluck government has become illegitimate by rejecting the Constitution Court’s ruling while people no longer trusted legislators who proposed bills to whitewash wrongdoers.

He said Ms Yingluck and her ministers had no choice but to relinquish their caretaker status, but proposed no names of replacements.

“There’ll be a few days of vacuum but we still have the Senate. Senate Speaker Nikom Wairatpanich, a worshipper of the Thaksin regime, must quit, leaving the deputy speaker to propose a suitable person for His Majesty’s endorsement before taking office,” he said.

He said the proposed people’s council will comprise 400 members – 300 of whom represent different professions and occupations and 100 others from academia.

He invited the opposing Red Shirt faction to join the reform, reassuring that it would be neither for the benefit of politicians nor the Democrat Party.

The former Democrat MP asked the private sector for support while insisting that an election must not be held unless a political reform is completed.

“The people’s council must genuinely represent the [diverse] peoples. Council members must not be attached to political parties. We still have time to discuss the people’s council. At this stage, we should concentrate on eliminating the Thaksin regime,” he said.