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Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra proposes ‘reform council’ to ease unrest

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Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra

Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday proposed the creation of a national “reform council” in the wake of weeks of street protests by the opposition aimed at toppling her government.

But protest leaders immediately rejected Ms. Yingluck’s plan, saying she was “not sincere” about reforms. The Democrat Party-backed protesters are demanding reforms before the February 2 snap polls.

In an address to the nation, Ms. Yingluck said the proposed council would be established in parallel with the election to recommend reforms and anti-corruption measures.

Ms. Yingluck said the post-election government would be committed to continuing the work of the council, and asked all sectors of society to join the body in order to solve the ongoing political conflict.

“My government has listened to suggestions of several sides from the several forums and agrees that reforms are needed in the social, economic and political dimensions,” she said.

She insisted that her government would not get involved in the establishment of the council. The PM’s Office and the cabinet would only acknowledge the council but not approve it.

She did not indicate the term of the council, though she had earlier stated it would operate for two years.

A spokesman for the protesters told media that the proposed council would be under the influence of Ms. Yingluck.

Anti—government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy premier, has already dismissed the idea of a council and has been demanding that Yingluck should quit.

Bangkok has witnessed weeks of anti—government protests by supporters of the opposition Democrat Party, which wants Ms. Yingluck to step down and quit politics.

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