Police summon man for declaring he will not vote in referendum

Thai police have summoned a 25-year-old anti-junta citizen from central Thailand for declaring that he will not turn up for the 7 August referendum on the junta-sponsored draft charter while a renowned anti-lèse majesté intellectual has also said that he will not participate in the referendum.

At 11 am on Thursday, 4 August 2016, Wasin Wainiya, a 25-year-old man from the central province of Nonthaburi, reported to Mueang District Police Station in the province.

Wasin stated that the police contacted him on Wednesday to report to them after he visited the provincial Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) office and informed them that he will not participate on the 7 August public referendum.

After he visited the ECT office, he went to his local polling station and crossed his name off the voter list and wrote the message ‘[I] did not have the right to draft it, so I will not participate.’

“I reject the entire procedure and process to draft the constitution and the [organise] the referendum. I reject them all because they did not come about via democratic means,” Wasin told Prachatai.

He added that he had studied the controversial Public Referendum Act and it does not say that crossing one’s name off the voter list is illegal.

Image of Wasin crossing his name off the voter list at a polling station in Nonthaburi Province on 3 August 2016 (Photo from Sa-nguan Khumrungroj Facebook)

At the police station, the officer who summoned Wasin was not there. The officers wrote in the police ledger that he had visited the station as summoned. So far, the authorities have not filed any accusation against him.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sulak Sivaraksa, a renowned Thai intellectual known for his royalist stand and fierce criticisms of the lèse majesté law, posted a message on his Facebook account that he will not participate in the upcoming draft constitution referendum.

“I will not participate in the vote because the NCPO [National Council for Peace and Order, the formal name of the Thai junta] is a military dictatorship who let the lawmakers who serve them draft the constitution. Therefore, in essence this draft constitution is not democratic. If I participate in the vote it would mean that I accept the NCPO’s legitimacy, so I will not involve myself in any of this,” read Sulak’s Facebook message.  

Sulak Sivaraksa

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