National reform is the only way out for Thailand

National reform is the only way out for Thailand

The time is ripe for all parties - protesters, politicians and the general public - to realise that only an election and commitment to reform will bring this political impasse to a democratic end and prevent a reoccurrence of political chaos.

Since the election, which is scheduled for February 2, will be organised after an uprising it would only end the impasse under a new term designed to specifically address political differences. This requires understanding by all parties that the government, formed as a result of this election, will principally aim its focus on national reform.

We urge all political parties to formally ratify this commitment and let the public know the principal objective of the "reform government". Both the interim government and protesters must agree upon this.

Hence, we call for a national reform council to be set up immediately and in order to ensure public acceptance, its members can be nominated and screened by private and public organisations, educational institutes and social groups.

We urge this reform council to first focus on the political arena and then find ways to neutralise economic and social differences, considering the cause of social division and the upheaval. We are convinced that only a mutually agreed-upon reform agenda, to be implemented by the "reform government", would tackle the differences at the root and strengthen Thailand politically, economically and socially.

We acknowledge the power of the people, as demonstrated by followers of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), in addressing the country's political malaise and holding unethical politicians accountable for their unacceptable behaviour. The protesters have won immense praise and they have accomplished their journey.

They should also acknowledge that there are questions about the constitutionality of the proposed "People's Council", which explains why at least six countries in the past three days have expressed their concern about the political situation and democratic development in Bangkok.

To uphold the Constitution and restore Thailand's image in the global community, the rule of law needs to be reinstated. Every Thai must go to the ballot with the knowledge that a reform process is underway to tackle the differences, and with conviction that reform will bring equality and fairness to all.

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