2016 Charter Draft
25 Apr 2016
There is little to be gained from further interpretation and evaluation of Meechai Ruchuphan’s draft constitution. The drafters felt no need for concealment or obfuscation concerning who they want to hold power and who they would prevent from gaining power. On these points it is the clearest of any constitution we’ve ever had, so clear that interpretation is hardly needed. The contents of the draft are not as interesting as are its intentions and political objectives.
22 Apr 2016
The deputy head of the junta has urged police officers to increase their surveillance of social media as the public referendum on the controversial junta-sponsored draft constitution is drawing near.
21 Apr 2016
The Military Court has released embattled Pheu Thai Party politician Watana Muangsook. The Military Court of Bangkok at around 5:40 pm on Thursday, 21 April 2016, released on 80,000 baht bail Watana Muangsook, 59, a politician from the Pheu Thai Party who was detained by the military for so-called attitude adjustment, a period of detention with lectures forced upon political dissidents by the junta. He will be released after being transferred to Bangkok Remand Prison on Thursday evening.
20 Apr 2016
Police released anti-junta activists without charges after detaining them for gathering in support for a detained Pheu Thai Party politician. At 8:30 pm on Tuesday, 19 April 2016, police officers of Phayathai Police Station released Anon Nampa of Resistant Citizen Group, Sirawit Serithiwat from New Democracy Movement (NDM), Aramis Akahad and Wannakit Chatsuwan, four well known anti-junta activists.
19 Apr 2016
The deputy head of the ruling junta has warned the public not to discuss the content of the latest draft constitution, saying that it might lead to misunderstanding and conflict. On Tuesday, 19 April 2016, Matichon Online reported that Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, the deputy NCPO head and Minister of Defence, told the media that people should not stage any campaign relating to the referendum on the draft constitution, which will be held on 7 August,. According to Matichon Online, Prawit said
14 Apr 2016
The Thai junta has told a Pheu Thai politician known for his criticisms against the regime that he will be taken to a military camp once again for re-education.
12 Apr 2016
Academics and a female Buddhist monk conclude that the draft constitution is a step backward on freedom of religion.
11 Apr 2016
The junta is attempting to abandon the universal healthcare scheme, one of the most acclaimed policies of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and replace it with a co-payment system. Analysts say under the draft constitution, healthcare will be no longer a state obligation, but state assistance to the poor. Amid news that the junta plans to reduce the budget for the universal healthcare scheme, formerly known as 30-baht policy, and ultimately abolish it, the equal right to healthcare has been removed from the draft constitution.
11 Apr 2016
The Thai junta leader scolded politicians for disagreeing with a plan to add an additional question to the public referendum on the draft constitution. Matichon Online reported that Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, on Monday, 11 April 2016, said that politicians have no right to disagree with him over the proposal to include another question in the public referendum to pass the draft constitution. The referendum is scheduled for 7 August 2016.
7 Apr 2016
A group of progressive law scholars has denounced the draft constitution, saying it will only prolong the junta’s rule. The Nitirat group, an association of progressive law academics known for their advocacy against Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law, on Thursday, 7 April 2016, issued a public statement against the complete draft constitution written by the junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC).
4 Apr 2016
The Thai military has prohibited a seminar on the controversial draft constitution in the northern province of Chiang Mai as the public referendum on the draft is drawing near. Matichon Online reported on Saturday, 2 April 2016, that Sunai Phasuk, a coordinator of Human Rights Watch (HRW), tweeted on his Twitter account that military officers from Kawila Military Camp in Chiang Mai ordered the cancellation of a seminar on ‘Reading the Constitution as Literature and Art’.
31 Mar 2016
In an attempt to censor voices against the draft constitution, the junta threatened the Pheu Thai Party after it issued a statement denouncing the draft constitution as undemocratic. On Wednesday, 30 March 2016, the Pheu Thai Party issued a statement condemning the final draft of the constitution and urging people to turn it down in the referendum, scheduled in August. In response to Pheu Thai’s move, Col Piyapong Klinphan, a spokesperson for the junta, said the junta thanks Pheu Thai for having a clear stance on the draft, but t