NRSA votes for political reform
The National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) has approved a series of political reform proposals intended to form a key part of the 20-year national strategic plan.
The NRSA yesterday voted 158 against 2 to accept the reforms their proponents believe will pave the way for cleaning up Thai politics.
The proposals, drafted by an NRSA committee on political reform led by Seree Suwanpanont, aim to build a new political culture that supports good governance and encourages both authorities and the public to work together to foster a strong democracy, officials say.
Committee members, including Sompong Sakawee and Wanchai Sornsiri, said the reforms will help relieve concerns relating to the future of Thai politics, which is now run by the military-engineered administration of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
During his weekly television programme on Friday, the prime minister floated four questions including whether people think the next elected government will ensure good governance.
One of the core tenets of the reform proposals is to improve ethical conduct in Thailand's political culture. Proponents want these codified in a bill that focuses on the integrity of both political office-holders and voters.
NRSA members yesterday also agreed to have their chairman Thinnaphan Nakhata suggest Gen Prayut establish an institution to promote a more democratic culture with greater transparency in politics.
While the government's power must be monitored and kept in check, people must also help ensure fair and clean elections, according to the committee.
One of the proposed reforms would update the charter every 10 years to ensure that the law keeps pace with changes in society.
Meanwhile, a National Legislative Assembly (NLA) committee has finished considering a bill on national reform procedures, said committee spokesman Chalermchai Boonyaleepun.
Mr Chalermchai expected the bill would be ready for its second and third readings by the NLA by early next month and take effect in August.