11 July 2024

Three of Thailand’s former Prime Ministers have agreed to accept Parliament President Chuan Leekpai’s invitation to join the Reconciliation Committee.


Anand Panyarachun, General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh and Abhisit Vejjajiva have agreed to join the committee, which is yet to be formally established, while a fourth former Prime Minister, Somchai Wongsawat, is yet to respond to the invitation.

Mr. Chuan has rejected the suggestion that he should head the committee, by Senator Kamnoon Sitthisamarn, claiming that he is not suitable.

The proposed Reconciliation Committee is the initiative of the Democrat Party, so Parliament can facilitate discussions between parties involved in the current political conflict and other groups, in a bid to defuse the situation.

A parliamentary working group is in the process of developing the structure and working processes of the Reconciliation Committee.  A round-table is scheduled next week to discuss the working group’s proposals.

Opposition parties have not yet decided to join the Committee and are demanding that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha steps down first, blaming him for being the cause of the conflict.

Mr. Paiboon Nititawan, a key member of the Palang Pracharat Party, said today that, although he supports the proposed Reconciliation Committee, but doubts it will work, noting that the proposal may be just a mechanism to put pressure on the Prime Minister to resign.

Meanwhile, another Palang Pracharat MP, Sira Jenjakha, has voiced his objection to Mr. Chuan’s move to invite four former Prime Ministers to join the committee, questioning Mr. Chuan’s arbitrary decision, which was taken without the consent of MPs.  He suggested that the House should form the committee.

Opposition Chief Whip Suthin Klangsaeng admitted that it is not easy to find individuals to join the committee, who are acceptable to all stakeholders, adding that he agrees with inviting former Prime Ministers and former House speakers to join.

He suggested that the Reconciliation Committee should be able to discuss all contentious issues, without exception.

Tags:  ex-PMs, Reconciliation Committee, format