Thai junta lauds constitution win as will of the people

Leader Prayuth Chan-ocha decries so called 'friends' in international community for meddling in country's affairs

Thai junta lauds constitution win as will of the people

World Bulletin / News Desk

Thailand's military celebrated its victory in a controversial referendum as the "will of the people" Monday, while leader Prayuth Chan-ocha seized the opportunity to decry the international community for its interference.

"It's disappointing that there have been some inappropriate intervention by foreign elements during these delicate times," a statement issued late Sunday by the prime minister-cum-junta leader said.

"All these interferences have inevitably led us to have contempt for the sentiments of those who claim to be 'friends' of Thailand." 

On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan underlines to reporters that Sunday's referendum -- where a military drafted constitution was passed with 61 percent of the vote -- was "not a victory for the government." 

"Rather, it represents the will of the people who believe in what we are trying to accomplish," he said. 

Prior to the vote, critics had accused the constitution draft of being undemocratic and prolonging military rule. Key provisions allowed for a military-appointed 250-member senate and for an un-elected “outsider” -- and possibly a retired military officer -- prime minister.

Prior to the referendum, both major political parties had stated they would not approve -- vote "no" -- to the constitution. 

However, on Monday a more conciliatory tone was struck with the Democrat Party's former opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva  -- saying that both he and the party "accepted the result".

The Democrat Party is long the party of the establishment, and had seen to be in favor of the May 22, 2014, coup that overthrew the government of rivals and Junta nemesis the Shinawatras.

"We call on all stakeholders to also accept the result of the referendum," Abhisit said. "Both the party and I remain committed in working towards fixing the country's problems." 

With the referendum win, the military says elections will take place in September 2017.

Analysts have said that many people -- although objecting to the power that the referendum affords the military -- voted yes out of fear of the political stalemate that would thus ensue if it were not passed.

Since taking control, the Thai economy has suffered, the jnunbta has banend protest and those seen to be in disagreement have been dragged off to re-education camps for enlightenment.  

Chan-ocha's government had said that if the public rejected the charter the military would draft a new one, likely prolonging their rule and extending their grip on power.

Despite the strong margin of victory in Sunday's referendum, just 55 percent of the population turned out to vote. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Ağustos 2016, 11:01