Intimidation makes the charter illegitimate

7 03 2016

According to a Bangkok Post report, police “arrested three members of a group opposed to the latest constitution draft while they were campaigning at Victory Monument on Sunday before releasing them without charge.” This is the kind of intimidation is standard practice under the military dictatorship.

Reported to be called “Red-Route,” the activists were arrested on an elevated pedestrian walkway at the Victory Monument as they campaigned for a “no vote” in the referendum on the new charter.VOTE NO

The group complained that “there are no regulations or laws to prohibit people from waging campaigns to accept or reject the draft,” presumably making their detention illegal. Illegality is standard practice under the military dictatorship.

Khaosod also reports on opposition to the draft charter, with activists saying that “[c]ritical assessments of the draft charter will continue being made despite the crackdown on dissent…”. The Prachamati group was denied use of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre with police and soldiers demanding that the venue’s administrator stop the event as it would “constitute a political gathering of five or more people, which is banned by the military junta.”

A Prachamati spokesperson declares: “We will continue to go ahead, even if it risks breaking the law…”. The Neo-Democracy Movement has also vowed to critically assess the junta-sponsored, junta-developed and junta-owned draft charter.

The “ban on any discussion or campaigning organized by the public” means that, whatever the result of the referendum, the charter cannot be legitimate.