Regime should mull its record, says Abhisit
The National Council for Peace and Order should reflect on what it has promised to deliver to the people as this year is likely to be its last in running the country before a general election takes place, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva says.
The regime has promised an election towards the end of the year.
The NCPO should take the opportunity to reflect on its performance since May 22, 2014 when it toppled the Pheu Thai Party-led administration in a military coup, Mr Abhisit said.
It promised to streamline national administration through reforms and return happiness to the people.
Mr Abhisit said the NCPO must conduct a self-evaluation to see if the reforms have made any headway or what it has done to convince people that the country under its rule is moving in the right direction.
If the NCPO fails to reflect on its performance, the military takeover will have gone to waste.
"How the NCPO goes down in history depends on the NCPO itself," he said.
It will have to take responsibility if the changes it promised are not achieved, he said, adding the country cannot afford a relapse to the problems which held the country back, such as rampant abuse of power and unethical practice in high office.
Few people had anticipated that the "anomalous" state, a reference to the country being run by coup makers, would last as long as it has.
However, the people have given the NCPO a chance, despite the persistent economic problems they face, for the sake of country's peace and order.
The people also have high hopes for national reforms. "Don't let the people's patience and the chance they gave the NCPO go to waste," Mr Abhisit said, warning a disappointment could backfire on the council and the government.
The Democrat leader noted many people were not aware of the principle of the reforms the NCPO was trying to introduce.
The reforms should reduce state power and empower people more through participatory politics. However, Mr Abhisit said no progress has been made to that effect.
National reforms, in his view, will not be achieved under the current government. To achieve success, people must be made to feel they are "owners" of the reforms which will motivate them to follow through with the plan.
Meanwhile, Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul said he trusted the government's roadmap to democracy including an election will stay the course.
The country is turning over a new leaf with old political power cliques being "reset," which will result in a fairer political playing field for politicians in the next poll where no party has an advantage over others.
Mr Anutin said he believed the next election will be held 18 months from now at the latest. He added all sides must respect the outcome of the poll. He said the NCPO did not fare badly in improving the national administration.
However, Pheu Thai has given the thumbs down to the government's performance. Worachai Hemma, the former Pheu Thai MP for Samut Prakan, said the government made it clear from the outset that it would reform the bureaucracy.
More than three years into the administration, no improvement is in sight as state officials remain detached from the people.
Problems with corruption also persist. Some people close to the prime minister were also accused of involvement in graft and the anti-corruption bodies have not produced real results as they probe the allegations. One clear failure was the government's refusal to lift the political activities ban imposed since the coup.