Prayut backs formation of crisis panel

Prayut backs formation of crisis panel

A crisis panel is needed to help guide the country towards reform and reconciliation and away from any conflict that could arise in the future, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha says.

Referring to the National Committee on Reform and Reconciliation Strategy, Gen Prayut said in his weekly speech to the nation on Friday that it is imperative the panel has the authority and adequate measures to facilitate reform efforts, with mechanisms in place to eliminate conflict and violence.

However, the panel will only be able to exercise such special powers when a normal government and existing laws fail to solve a situation, such as the events leading to the May 22 coup.

Constitution Drafting Committee spokesman Kamnoon Sitthisamarn said the creation of the crisis panel has been carefully considered but the issue has so far not been reviewed. He insisted any change to the crisis panel proposal would have to be made before the draft charter is presented to the National Reform Council which will decide on the draft charter next week.

Mr Kamnoon said he does not think there will be any major changes to the core principles and duties of the proposed panel, in the event of a review.

He added Gen Prayut may be appointed to head the crisis committee and the requirements for the job will be written in the transitional clause of the new charter.

The panel members include military leaders as well as a prime minister, House speaker and Senate speaker.

Mr Kamnoon said the intention of the draft charter is for the next prime minister to be appointed to the panel.

The committee, after consulting with the presidents of the Constitutional Court and Supreme Administrative Court, can intervene in any political crisis that grinds the country to a halt.

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