BANGKOK, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Thai caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra offered Saturday to have a national reform council immediately set up following the Feb. 2 election.
Yingluck suggested that all parties contesting the nationwide election issue a joint declaration to assure that such a reform council will be set up immediately after the race to parliament has been done.
The suggestion was made one day before a massive anti- government rally expected to take place Sunday to force Yingluck to resign from the caretaking post.
The turnout of protesters joining the rally is expected to reach 2 to 3 million, spokesman of the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) Ekanat Prompan said.
Yingluck announced that the council should consist of representatives of political parties, university rectors, academics, professionals, businesspersons and government officials, among others, and have a two-year period to make reforms, which, she said, should be viewed as a national agenda.
"All the parties vying in the election and other sectors of society should make a joint declaration for the setting up of a national reform council immediately after parliament reopens and a new cabinet has been set up. The council will do the reforms on long-term basis with focus on the political sector," she said.
Yingluck insisted the election be held as scheduled in order to maintain democratic rule, peace and order.
Army Chief Prayuth Chan-ocha on Friday warned of the risk of a civil war if the political unrest continues, Bangkok Post has reported.
Prayuth proposed a people's assembly be organized or sponsored by a neutral group and comprise non-core representatives from all political sides.
Suthep Thaugsuban, protest leader and former deputy premier, and several ex-Democrat Party legislators who planned to lay siege around a Bangkok stadium where the application for electoral candidates will be held from Monday, have obviously intended to eradicate "Thaksin's rule" which allegedly has influenced the Yingluck government. That referred to the caretaker premier's exiled brother, former Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra.
The anti-government protesters planned to obstruct the electoral process while academics and some parties feared street unrests might occur from Monday and called on the caretaker premier to put off the election.
Yingluck maintained that the election needs to be held within a 60-day time from the date of the dissolution of parliament while she is obliged to perform as head of the caretaker government until the post-election cabinet is set up in accordance with the constitution and laws.
The Election Commission (EC) reaffirmed Friday that the election would not be delayed and candidate registration would start on Monday as planned.
The registration venue will be well protected by the police, EC member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said after a meeting with Yingluck.
Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Towichakchaikul on Saturday called on Thais, including protesters, to exercise their voting rights in the election.
Yingluck has already submitted her application to the Pheu Thai Party to seek nomination as a party-list candidate, according to party spokesman Prompong Nopparit.
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