11 July 2024

Thailand’s Parliament President Chuan Leekpai has said that he intends to bring people from all sectors of the Thai society together, including anti-establishment protesters, for constructive discussions, to find long-term solutions to the current political conflict, and not to quarrel with one another.

He clarified that his invitation for several former Prime Ministers, among them Anand Panyarachun, General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, Abhisit Vejjajiva, Somchai Wongsawat and General Surayud Chulanont, who is also president of the Privy Council, is intended to seek their views on how to defuse the political situation. He said that they have previous experience with similar conflicts, and it does not mean that they have to join the Reconciliation Committee, proposed by Democrat Party leader Jurin Laksanavisit.

He admitted that it is not easy to invite people to join the Committee, adding that the acceptance by some former Prime Ministers does not necessary mean that they will join it, but they agree with this approach to defusing the situation.

Anand, General Chavalit and Abhisit have accepted the invitation, said Chuan, adding that he would personally approach General Surayud and other former Parliament Presidents.

The current Parliament President said he does not know whether former Prime Minister Tanin Kraivichien is physically fit enough to participate.

Asked whether it is necessary for the committee to include representatives of the anti-establishment protesters, Chuan said that he wants them to join voluntarily.

“There is nothing which can be resolved 100 percent, but if we can solve (the issues) only partially, it will be beneficial,” said the Parliament President.

Regarding the Opposition, which is still hesitant to join the proposed Reconciliation Committee, Chuan said that he has been told, by Suthin Klangsaeng, Opposition Chief Whip, that they are waiting for a clearer picture of the structure and working processes of the Committee, matters which are still being considered by a working committee.

The anti-establishment protesters, however, have rejected the Committee proposal outright, claiming that it is just a ploy by the Government to buy time.  They insist that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha must resign first.