August 5, 2016 – Thai authorities involved in a military-backed draft constitution have been stepping up public campaigns with the Election Commission (EC), hosting multiple events around the country to woo voters, as they projected an 80 per cent voters turn out.
A the same time, the chairman and several members of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) went on public television to answer questions from the public about the draft charter. This comes after criticisms that the CDC has not done enough to spread information about the draft charter to the public.
The Royal Thai Police has also mobilised more than 200,000 police officers to provide security to 94,000 voting areas across the country on referendum day on Sunday, as the government dismissed concerns raised by several foreign embassies about possible political tensions on voting day.
A lot is at stake ahead of the first major referendum vote since the Thai military staged a coup in 2014.
If the draft constitution is passed, the military government will be able to gradually count down towards an election sometime later next year. But its failure could also lead towards an extended period of military rule.
Those who drafted the charter say that the document would provide more stability and accountability in future governments.