Pattaya Daily News

12 August 2007 :: 10:08:06 am 29467

Thai Pm Believes Bribery Won’t Affect Votes on Draft Charter

BANGKOK, Aug 11 - Thailand‘s Prime Minister Gen. Surayud Chulanont said Saturday he personally believed bribes given to eligible voters to oppose draft constitution during the national referendum cannot deter their decision.
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Gen. Surayud said during his weekly television programme after his visit to several northeastern provinces Friday that although reports of money given to eligible voters could be true, he still believed majority of them would perform their best duty and would not oppose the draft constitution during the referendum, to be held on August 19.

He said the decision by the government to declare August 20 as a public holiday and for transportation companies to reduce fares came after his administration wanted voters to exercise their rights on the national referendum, held for the first time in Thailand.

In principle, if more than half the eligible voters exercise rights, he said, it could be considered that the outcome of the referendum must be respected.

However, Gen. Surayud said he could not say the draft charter would be approved and there is still plenty of time left to evaluate the situation.

A recent opinion poll found most people, particularly in the southern region, are likely to vote in favour of the draft charter in this month’s referendum. About 77 per cent of respondents would accept the charter while 22 per cent would accept it.

The prime minister and Council for National Security (CNS) chairman Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratkalin earlier called on Thai people to participate in the public referendum, saying that the referendum is the first step towards restoring democracy, with general elections planned later this year.

The CNS, which ousted elected prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra last September, have said that one of the kingdom’s previous constitutions would be used if the electorate rejects the draft charter.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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