Prayuth on democracy in Thailand
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Prayuth on democracy in Thailand

Prayuth on Friday night as per the MFA translation:

Thai people hope to see a good future for the country whereby benefits are distributed equally to all—not only to certain groups. They hope to see the return to a strengthened democratic system—with proper institutions to safeguard the principles of rule of law and legal state, true public participation in decision-making process, and efficient scrutiny mechanisms to ensure the transparency of operations. They hope to achieve this through a reform process which will help resolve the failures of the past and lay groundwork for developments that will sustainably benefit the country in the future.

 Democracy should be about more than just whether elections take place. It should also be measured on the basis of what the elections will bring and give to the people in a sustainable manner.

– The reform in the next phase will focus on political reform, anti-corruption, and a system of good governance to bring about transparency. It will also focus on laws that are sacrosanct, a proper check-and-balance system and effectiveness as well as reform in the 11 areas that I have earlier mentioned.

– For reasons mentioned above, our foreign friends should be satisfied. At the moment, I would like their support for the NCPO’s efforts in making Thailand a fully democratic country. There are other areas in which our foreign friends and partners can help, exchange information and opinions, give support, and share your experiences.

– The reform needs a great amount of understanding and support from the Thai people, as the country belongs to everyone regardless of their conforming or opposing viewpoints. They should all participate in the reform process. We do not want to leave anyone behind, as we are all Thai.

– Every democratic country has gone through stages of difficult periods and devastating situations. They are tested by time. Today it is better for us all to help set up a stable pillar of Thai democracy, rather than to criticize, particularly regarding a demand for an early election. We have been through trial and error for many years. If we succeed, we will be a country with a complete and sustainable democracy and that will benefit Thai people as well as our foreign friends.

– Lastly, I ask for patience from the Thai people and foreign friends to allow us to move forward in unity. I also ask for every country to be supportive of us in creating a country full of hope as well as bringing about national stability, which will lead to lasting regional and global stability in the future.

2. For those who have viewpoints different from the NCPO, we do not want anyone who fights for democracy to disregard their safety, and overlook corruption and misadministration. They have to think about the changes in order to bring about the complete democracy. Sometimes it may be too hasty to oppose and disagree, especially when the Royal Thai Armed Forces is involved in politics. Please be open-minded and acknowledge the actual truth of the past situations as well as the context, and consider how Thailand can become a fully democratic country.

– For our foreign friends and allies, I would like you to recognise the positive changes in the situation since 22 May 2014, rather than being quick to criticise us as determined by the universal democratic form.

BP: Who gets to determine how to measure the benefits that people derive from elections? Prayuth or the people?

On the issue of true public participation in decision-making process and all participating in the reform process, will that include a referendum on the constitution? What about the make-up of the NLA and reform committees, will they include large numbers of military generals? How will the gag order on any criticism of the junta affect people’s ability to participate in this reform process?