Thailand: Opposition skips first national unity panel meeting

  • Eleven members of the 21-man national reconciliation committee convened their first meeting on 18 Jan 21 amid criticism from the main opposition Pheu Thai Party that it might not have the authority to push for the recommendations for implementation.
  • The meeting was attended by the 11 members of the panel who were appointed last week (11-17 Jan 21), but not a single representatives from the opposition camp, which refused to take part in the process, came.
  • Despite the absence of opposition politicians, which critics saw as a weakness, House Speaker Chuan Leekpai said the panel can still work towards resolving the conflict. He urged the committee to find a solution that will prevent future political conflicts, rather than one would only end the current stalemate.
  • Mr Chuan pledged his full support for the committee and asked it to submit a progress report in two weeks.
  • Sanguan Pongmaee, a Pheu Thai MP for Lamphun, doubted that the national reconciliation committee has the power to implement its recommendations.
  • However, he insisted that the opposition does not object to efforts to resolve the conflict.

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