The festering corpse that is the draft constitution has been dead for some time, with forensic constitutionalists suggesting rigor mortis set in even before it was dead on arrival. The corpse has continued to be dismembered by the yellowed National Reform Steering Assembly. Others have pointed out its fundamental problems that make it a decidedly anti-democratic manifesto.
Criticism is permitted say the military dictatorship, so long as it is “respectful” and not on mainstream television and not, it seems, in academic venues. Meanwhile, the campaign for the constitution draft is being supported by heavy propaganda and by the military who plan to essentially oversee and pressure the voting at the referendum.
It seems that criticism of the junta’s draft charter is limited to the mainstream media, social media and conversations in private venues. But even social media has got the attention of chief charter drafter Meechai Ruchupan and his military bosses.
According to a report at Prachatai, the well-rewarded pensioner “has threatened legal action to quell criticism of the new draft constitution.”
Meechai has called on the Constitution Drafting Committee to “meet to discuss possible legal action against people who distort facts to criticise the 2016 charter draft.” His anger seemed sparked by “an anti-junta Facebook page ‘Yut Datjarit Prathet Thai’ (Stop Fake Thailand),” which looks pretty tame, but Meechai is flustered because he says “a certain political party is behind the page.” He means Thaksin Shinawatra who called the draft “lousy,” and the Puea Thai Party.
Meechai declared “that the CDC proposal on possible legal measures against those distorting facts about the draft will be sent to the cabinet for consideration.” It seems a little political warmth in the cool season is just too much for Meechai’s old bones.
Meanwhile, the “administrators of the Facebook page posted a statement in response to Meechai, saying that they are not afraid and that they apologise if the infographic about the draft charter on the page disheartened the CDC.”