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Fears over Thailand referendum vote

Thursday, August 04, 2016 - 01:26

A feeling of unease over an upcoming referendum vote on a constitution that would give the military more power than politicians. Julie Noce reports.

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Many politicians hate it. A lot of voters don't understand it. And the military stands to win big from it... A referendum vote on a new Thai constitution is set for Sunday August 7th and civil servants, military cadets and others are canvassing cities countrywide to get out the vote. The country's two biggest political parties oppose the constitution and say its designed to ensure long-term military supervision of the Thai government. The voters are unclear about the ins and outs... "I don't understand" this man says. On top of all that... arrests are being made.... some for trying to hand out leaflets urging people to vote 'no'. Analysts say the confusion and uncertainty has created an atmosphere of fear. (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) ASSISTANT PROFESSOR PIRONGRONG RAMASOOTA, EXPERT ON MASS COMMUNICATION AT CHULALONG KORN UNIVERSITY SAYING : "Now there are seven people who have already been arrested because they have campaigned for 'vote no'. This has created tension and an atmosphere of fear. Therefore, we don' t see much information from the media." The ruling junta insists the new constitution will help end more than a decade of divisive politics in Thailand and make sure politicians do their jobs. Sunday's vote is seen as the biggest test of public opinion since the generals seized power in May 2014, with prospects for an election next year possibly in the balance.

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Fears over Thailand referendum vote

Thursday, August 04, 2016 - 01:26