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National Reform Council members selected

Two hundred and fifty men and women were named to Thailand’s National Reform Council (NRC) last week, and are expected to meet shortly to begin debate and deliberations on measures to restructure and improve Thailand’s political, economic and social systems.  The NRC’s members include prominent academics, former politicians, business people, activists and personnel from the security agencies.  
 
The formation of the NRC is an important step in the government’s roadmap to restore democracy in Thailand.  It follows the appointment of the National Legislative Assembly and the Cabinet, leaving only selection of a Constitution Drafting Committee as the final key body to be established as part of the government’s plan to rebuild Thailand’s democratic structure.
 
The NRC consists of one person selected from each of the 77 provinces, and 173 others chosen because of their knowledge and experience in one or more of 11 fields: local administration, national administration, politics, education, the economy, energy, social affairs, mass media, public health and the environment, and justice and law.  The eleventh category is labeled “other issues” to cover any gaps or unresolved problems.
 
Those chosen for the NRC come from a variety of backgrounds and hold a range of political views.  They include former senator from Bangkok Rossana Tositrakul, a fierce advocate for civil and consumer rights, and General Yutthasak Sasiprapa, a former minister of defense in the government of ex-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
 
Other former senators who were selected include Chirmsak Pinthong, also known as a political media firebrand, and Direk Thuenfung, a conservative.  A few past members of the House of Representatives are now in the NRC, such as ex-Democrat Party member Alongkorn Polabutr and former House Speaker Chai Chidchob, father of former Bumjaithai Party leader Newin Chidchob.
 
Prominent academics chosen for the Council were Bowornsak Uwanno, Chai-Anan Samudavanija, Thienchai Kiranan and Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, former rector of the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA).
 
A handful of local journalists were also named to the NRC, and will presumably be assigned to the committee devising reforms for the media.
 
Government Spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarp said that the NRC will take part in vetting and choosing the members of the Constitution Drafting Committee.  The charter drafters will be 36 in number, with 20 of them being selected by the NRC and the remaining 16 being named by the legislature, the cabinet and the National Council for Peace and Order.
 
Former senator and NRC member Chirmsak Pinthong has already publicly called for the government to submit any draft constitution to the public for a vote.
 
See the origibnal article at Thailand Focus

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