King Rama X Promulgates Thailand’s 20th Constitution

Thai King promulgates new charter

In an ancient royal ceremony broadcast live on national television and not seen in almost 50 years, His Majesty King Rama X on Thursday signed Thailand’s 20th constitution approved in a controversial referendum last August. The endorsement is usually held at the palace and a public ceremony is not obligatory.
The promulgation of the new charter paves the way to the kingdom’s first general election since the May 2014 coup to be held by the end of 2018 at the latest. A date for a new general election and a formal return to democracy had previously been postponed several times.

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No Elections for Thailand This Year, Postponed Until Mid-2018


No news here. As was to be expected, a member of the junta-appointed interim parliament suggested over the weekend there would be no general elections in Thailand this year. Although prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the deputy-chairman of the ruling junta denied the reports later we would definitely not hold our breath.
Thai daily Khaosod English report today:

Delaying the return to even a semblance of democratic rule, the military government won’t stage elections until mid-2018, Gen. Somjet Boontanom of the National Legislative Assembly said Sunday.

Gen. Somjet blamed the new delay on the need for another 15 months to write necessary legislation.

The general reportedly added that elections would definitely take place; just exactly when remains a mystery.

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Thais Vote to Accept Military-Backed Constitution

coup soldiers happiness

According to preliminary results based on 94 percent of the votes counted Sunday evening it has become obvious that a majority of Thai voters have accepted the controversial military-backed constitution that will pave the way for a general election sometime next year. But even with an election on the horizon now, the new charter rather implies prolonged military control than a return to full-blown democracy in the Western sense of the word.
While voter turnout was relatively low at just over 50% and opposition was strong in the northeastern region a.k.a. Isaan, preliminary results of the Sunday referendum show that 61.4 percent nationwide voted in favour of the military-drafted charter while only 38.6 percent voted against it.
Full results are expected on Wednesday, however, the gap is wide enough not to affect the result.
A second question asking voters whether the Senate should be allowed to join the House of Representatives in selecting a prime minister also received approval, however with only 58% voting in favour of the controversial clause.

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Alcohol Ban on Constitutional Referendum Weekend, August 6-7

On Sunday, August 7, Thai people will eventually get to vote on whether they accept or reject the controversial new draft constitution penned by a military-appointed committee. In short, the two most controversial issues are that, according to the new draft, the Senate would become a fully appointed chamber and have veto power over the… Continue Reading

Military to Appoint New Pattaya Mayor, City Council Next Week

Since Pattaya gained city status in 1978 it’s been administered under a special autonomous system where the people of Pattaya could directly elect their own mayor and city council (except for Bangkok that’s never been the case in the rest of Thailand.) So every four years you’d have local elections and the more than 100,000… Continue Reading

Facebook User Faces 32 Years in Jail for Clicking ‘Like’ (Updated)

A 27-year-old Thai factory worker reportedly faces 32 years in prison for clicking “like” and sharing a doctored image of the revered Thai king on Facebook. The member of an opposition “red shirt” group on Facebook reportedly also confessed to sharing an infographic about alleged corruption in the construction of the Rajabhakti Park project, allegedly… Continue Reading

Thai Draft Constitution Rejected, Delaying Elections to 2017

Thailand’s military-appointed National Reform Council (NRC) Sunday morning voted 135-105 to reject the controversial draft for what is supposed to become the country’s 20th charter since 1932. Ironically, the constitution draft was written by a 36-member committee that was equally handpicked by the junta and, as The Nation reveals, “most of those who voted down… Continue Reading

Thailand’s Long and Winding Road Back to Democracy

We haven’t blogged about Thai politics for a while now – and whenever we’ve done so more recently we’ve usually disabled the comments function. That is not just because there’s nothing happening or we’re not interested in your opinion – it’s mainly because criticism of the military government is virtually prohibited. What’s there to say… Continue Reading

Will Thai Elections Be Delayed for Two More Years?

Will national elections, now tentatively scheduled for September 2016, be delayed again to enable junta chairman and prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to stay in power for two more years? Following a call by 26 members of the junta-appointed National Reform Council (NRC) for the coup leader to extend his term by two years in order… Continue Reading

Thailand to Scrap 300-Baht Daily Minimum Wage (Updated)

The 300-Baht national daily minimum wage, introduced by the previous government of Yingluck Shinawatra in 2013 to improve the living conditions of workers in the countryside, will be scrapped again next year, the Bangkok Post reports. The current minimum wage of 300 Baht a day (about 9 dollars) applies to all 77 provinces of the… Continue Reading

Thaksin Has Passports Revoked, Faces Lese Majeste Charge

Update (May 29) – According to a report by Khaosod English, Thai army chief Udomdet Sitabutr has now indeed charged Thaksin with lese majeste for allegedly “defaming the monarchy” in an unspecified recent interview with a South Korean news agency. In one of the interviews, Thaksin accused “traditional elites” and privy councillors (who are not… Continue Reading

Thai Political Parties Banned From Debating Draft Constitution

Thailand moves forward. At least that’s one of the slogans the kingdom’s ruling junta likes to use to promote its politics. Thailand’s so-called Constitution Drafting Committee (whose 36 members were exclusively appointed by the junta a.k.a. NCPO or the “National Council for Peace and Order”) has now written a new draft constitution. Sure, that’s a… Continue Reading

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