Red shirts launch referendum watch campaign

A faction of the red shirts has launched a referendum watch campaign, aiming to prevent electoral fraud in the August referendum and to educate people about the content of the charter draft. Meanwhile, Deep South civil society has also started a similar campaign.  
On Monday, 30 May 2016, Thanawut Wichaidit and Somwang Asrasi, key members of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), a main faction of the red shirts affiliated with Thaksin, revealed that they will launch an Anti-Electoral Fraud in the Referendum campaign on 5 June. In the campaign, red-shirt volunteers will watch the referendum at polling stations across the country to prevent fraud, TV24 Newsroom reported
The key UDD members also visited the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) on Monday, asking the Commission to send experts to educate the red shirt volunteers who will participate in the campaign.
The UDD also insisted that the campaign does not aim to guide the public to vote in any certain way. They just want to prevent electoral fraud which might be committed by those who want the charter draft to pass the referendum.  
Key UDD members submitting a letter to the office of the Election Commission of Thailand (source: TV24 Newsroom)
In a related development, on Sunday, 29 May 2016, Mansot Mateh, the president of Network of Referendum Monitoring groups of Border Provinces on In a related development, on Sunday, 29 May 2016, Mansot Mate, President of the Border Provinces Network Monitoring the Referendum on the 2016 Draft Constitution, launched a referendum watch campaign to prevent electoral fraud in the August referendum and to educate people about the charter draft’s content, Matichon Online reported
Mansot cited Article 7 of the Referendum Act which guarantees each individual’s right to freedom of expression regarding the draft and the referendum, meaning that the network was supported under the law.
According to Matichon Online, 34 civil society organizations from eight provinces in Southern Thailand have joined the association, including the Association of Muslim Women, the Association of Muslim Private Schools, and the Network of Muslim Religious Teachers. 
Mansot said that people should be fully informed about the charter draft before the referendum so that if they vote, they could make an informed decision. The Network’s next step is to create networks at the province, district, subdistrict, and village levels, reported Matichon Online.
Network members announce the campaign at a press conference at the Daiichi Hotel, Hat Yai District, Songkhla Province (source: Matichon Online)



Since 2007, Prachatai English has been covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite the risk and pressure from the law and the authorities. However, with only 2 full-time reporters and increasing annual operating costs, keeping our work going is a challenge. Your support will ensure we stay a professional media source and be able to expand our team to meet the challenges and deliver timely and in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address:, please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”