Hold meeting on quiet, PM says

Hold meeting on quiet, PM says

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has suggested that a planned meeting of key politicians to discuss political reform be "done quietly" to avoid causing political tension.

He said any such meeting as the one proposed by the Pheu Thai Party core member Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan should not be held publicly as it could lead to political conflicts.

"Have they not been talking all this time? Now they want to make it public," he said.

"What if another round of conflict flares up? Will we be able to live with that?" the premier added.

He has warned key politicians who plan to join the meeting are treading on dangerous ground and must be careful not to break the law or security orders issued by the National Council for Peace and Order.

Democrat Party deputy leader Nipit Intarasombat said earlier the arrangements for the talks have been made although no date has been fixed.

Khunying Sudarat has floated the idea of politicians themselves embracing the reform first, saying changes must begin at home to win people's trust.

However, the issue was met with scepticism from many quarters and even among politicians. Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the meeting could cause a problem if it was driven by a political agenda.

Gen Prayut said yesterday the government so far has been getting "wishlists" from politicians for amnesty for people facing criminal and political offences and for national reconciliation.

The wish for reconciliation somes with a demand for less harsh legal enforcement against certain political groups and individuals, he said.

"I'm not their enemy. They are the enemies of the law," he said.

Gen Prayut said it would make no sense if one was to demand exemptions to every law to help politicians facing charges in the name of national reconciliation.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the planned meeting can proceed as long as it does not incite divisions or ramp up political propaganda.

Gen Prawit said he is confident the Aug 7 charter referendum will be conducted without a hitch.

The deputy premier's comment came after Pheu Thai's leading member Watana Muangsook posted a photo of himself on Facebook sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with an anti-draft charter message.

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