Thailand seeks to penalise draft constitution critics

Bangkok, Feb 2 (IANS) Thailand’s Election Commission (EC) has proposed imposing penalties against people who inappropriately criticise the draft of the new constitution.

Thanit Sripratet, a senior expert with the EC, told EFE news agency on Tuesday that the proposed list of penalties will be long. However, he did not provide further information.

Distorting details about the draft, using rude language to criticise it, or inciting people to go against it are among the activities that might face punishment, Thanit said.

People will be permitted to approve or disapprove of the charter draft through a public referendum or can air their views constructively in public.

By the same token, the military will help the public to develop the right understanding about the draft, Col Sirichan Ngathong, deputy spokeswoman of the Royal Thai Army said on Monday.

“The Commander of the Thai Army has ordered every division of the army to help promote right understanding (about the charter draft) to communities on a regular basis to keep people informed and updated,” said Sirichan.

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