Only junta can decide on new constitution referendum, says Deputy PM

Deputy Prime Minister Visanu Krue-ngam says that only the cabinet and the junta have the authority to decide whether a public referendum on the draft constitution should be held.

According to ASTV Manager Online, Visanu Krue-ngam, Deputy Prime Minister under Prime Minister and junta leader Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, on Thursday dismissed a proposal from the Constitutional Drafting Committee (CDC) and National Reform Council (NRC) that a public referendum should be held on the new constitutional draft.

The Deputy PM said that although the majority of the CDC and NRC members see that a public referendum should be held on the draft constitution prior to its imposition, only the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and the cabinet have the authority to decide the matter.

The CDC is welcome to make recommendations on the process to pass the draft constitution. However, the CDC’s main job is to draft the new constitution, said Visanu.

He also implied that holding a public referendum on the draft constitution could take up to four to five months and the government might be criticised for clinging on to power for too long.