Thailand’s opposition alliance confirms its boycott of Reconciliation Committee

The coalition of six opposition parties have again confirmed their decision not to join the parliament-initiated Reconciliation Committee, established to resolve the current political conflict.

Speaking on behalf of the opposition, after a meeting this morning, Pheu Thai party leader Sompong Amornvivat told the media that the coalition will not join the committee, unless the two parties in the current political conflict, the government and the anti-establishment groups, agree to join.

He said that the government must demonstrate its sincerity by creating an atmosphere of reconciliation and ending the harassment of the protesters and its political opponents.

The opposition leader stressed that the most appropriate approach to resolving the conflict is through the amendment ofthe current Constitution, adding “The government must convince society to accept that it is sincere and determined to restore democracy, because democracy is a key mechanism that is acceptable to all parties.”

Sompong also urged the government to amend the charter to strip senators of their role in the selection of the country’s prime minister.

Kao Klai party secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon, meanwhile, said that, as long there is no justice in Thai society, there will never be conciliation, although the party agrees, in principle, with the concept of reconciliation.

He blamed the current political conflict on the country’s numerous military coups and the perpetuation of the power of the junta, the abuse of the judicial process as well as harassment of political opponents by the government.

To begin with, he suggested amendment of the lèse majesté law(Section 112 of the Criminal Code) as the first step in creating areconciliatory atmosphere.

Pracha Chart party leader, Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, also called on the government to amend the charter first, to make it more democratic and to pave the way for reconciliation and eventual resolution of the political conflict.

Palang Puangchon Thai party leader, Nikhom Boonviset, said that the Reconciliation Committee is powerless to bring about reconciliation, because the cause of the conflict has not been addressed for many years, adding that reconciliation must start with the government.

 

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)