Thailand Referendum: Perspectives and Predictions
On August 7, 2016, the so-called Thailand referendum will take place to vote the constitution draft which was drafted by junta (NCPO)'s committee. It sounds so democratic when talks about a referendum. Anyway in Thailand, the seminars and debates were strictly banned. Dissidents were silenced. Even though the junta attempts to establish the legitimacy on his regime and constitution draft, his actions are weakening the referendum's legitimacy.
The future of Thailand will be still unreliable after this referendum. If the draft passes, Thailand will surely be ruled by semi-democratic regime whereas if the draft rejects, nobody knows what will happen. However, the junta said that he won't step down. In this article, I will mention about my predictions and perspectives.
Accept or reject?
Personally, I support "No vote" because of the undemocratic referendum. On the other hand, I am right-handed, so if I was forced to vote, I would cross on the right boxes (Inspired by Prof.Worajet lol). There are many reasons why we shouldn't accept the draft: no consensus and participation from people, technically cannot be edited, appointed senators, empowered independent organizations and many others which make the election unimportant for citizens.
Especially, the second question asks if voters agree or disagree the idea that let the senators (250 appointed members) can elect the prime minister. Consequently, military regime will be strong in parliament. Intervening or interfering the policy of the civil government which will come from the general election. It must not pass to deprive the power of NCPO in future prime minister election.
The legitimacy of the referendum was destroyed by NCPO. They strictly prohibit all the academic discussion/seminar, peaceful protests, also, criminalized criticism on the charter and etc. Is it really a typical referendum? I often call this referendum as pseudo-referendum, similar to Myanmar's referendum and Egypt's referendum.
On the ballots, there will be 2 sections for the voter, which are, first the ratification of the constitution and second, they probably ask if voters accept or reject the idea that let senators can elect the next prime minister.
The prospects will be 1. both questions pass, 2. the constitution passes but the idea fails, 3. the constitution fails but the idea passes and lastly, both of them fail. Seriously, I do not think the second and third prospects will happen.
Even though the constitution draft passes, the general elections will be held by late 2017. Also, if the second question passes, the military power will guide the country for at least 10 years. However, if it fails, the junta said he would not decommission. NCPO will come up with the new charter and it might be worse. The general election will be delayed.
Will it pass?
In my opinion, I do not think it will pass. The responses from some people and political parties (Puea Thai and Democrat) mostly say the same thing that is "Vote No". It seems that the draft will not pass. The latest referendum on 2007, 57% of the population voted and only North East region that rejecting the draft was higher than accepting.
However, the future still uncertain.
Ps. This article was written on midnight so the sentences might be bad and choppy. However, I would like to invite everyone who has a right to vote on this referendum to think about the charter and desire what to do; vote or not, accept or reject. For those who haven't decided yet, I recommend crossing on the right boxes.
Hope it will not pass
Credit to http://prachatai.com/journal/2016/03/64959 for the cover picture.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, it has been passed.