Junta threatens Pheu Thai for denouncing the draft charter

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 they will check if the statement misleads the public. If so, the junta might ‘invite’ Pheu Thai members for a talk, the Thai News Agency  reported.
 
This is one of the attempts by the junta to censor voices against the draft. In the past few months, at least three public events to discuss the content of the draft have been banned.
 
According to the Pheu Thai statement, the draft constitution is undemocratic and could lead to an unstable political regime if ratified. The party, therefore, urged people to turn it down, despite the fact that this will postpone elections. Pheu Thai proposed that if the draft is turned down, the 1997 Constitution should be reinstated instead with a general election within six months.
 
Under the 2016 Referendum Bill, people who publicly denounce the referendum will face heavy penalties. The bill also grants the Election Commission of Thailand the authority to regulate all campaigns relating to the draft. (more detail)
 

Col Piyapong Klinphan (Photo from Thai News Agency)

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