Government reconciliation committee to feature both royalists and pro-democracy protesters

Representatives from pro-monarchy and pro-democracy protestors will be asked to join the parliament’s reconciliation committee, Chuan Leekpai, the House Speaker and former Prime Minister to Thailand, said on Tuesday.

The former Prime Minister said that the structure for the Reconciliation Committee has been drafted following a meeting with the president of the senate, coalition’s chief whip, and the opposition’s chief whip.

The aim of the committee is to lower the rising political tensions that has continued for the past five months.

Since the summer of this year, hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy protesters have taken to the streets across Thailand to protest against the current Prime Minister Prayut Chan-Ocha, his administration, and for the reformation of the royal institution

The 21 members of the committee could include:

  1. Two representatives from the protest group that disagree with the government
  2. Two representatives from the government
  3. Two MPs from the coalition
  4. Two MPs from the opposition   
  5. Two senators
  6. Two representatives from the protest group that agree with the government
  7. Nine experts including five academics and four other experts on reconciliation processes

Chuan added that Kunawut Tantrakul, the Deputy Secretary-General of the House of Representatives, has been appointed as the Secretary of the Reconciliation Committee.   

He said the first meeting of the Committee has also resulted in the agreement that the parliament should debate and vote for the referendum bill, which is needed for the Charter Amendment process on December 1.

The former Prime Minister also said that the Committee has agreed with the petition made by Paiboon Nititawan, an MP from the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), for the constitutional court to rule on the legality of the parliament’s current attempt to rewrite the charter.

Suthin Khlangsaeng, the chief opposition whip and a Pheu Thai MP for Maha Sarakham, said there is “some hope” for the success of this Reconciliation Committee.

However, the success will largely depend on whether or not all of the invited parties will agree to join.

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