Updated: Academics say no

The Bangkok Post reports that a “group of academics has slammed the draft constitution, saying it weakens the parliamentary system and restrict people’s rights and liberties.”

This is not unexpected following Nitirat’s rejection of the military’s draft charter.

This group of academics considers itself “a network of academics for citizens’ rights” and spoke at Thammasat University. According to the Post they are: “Anusorn Unno, dean of Thammasat University’s faculty of sociology and anthropology, Pichit Likitkijsomboon, from Thammasat University’s faculty of economics, Decharut Sukkumnoed, from Kasetsart University’s faculty of economics, and Puangthong Pawakapan, a political science lecturer at Chulalongkorn University.”

Their statement opposing the draft charter was clear:

  • the draft charter curtails the people’s rights and liberties
  • this draft constitution was only for the benefit of a certain group of people
  • the draft will weaken the parliamentary system
  • it paves the way for an unelected “outsider” to be prime minister
  • the draft destroyed the rule of law regarding power separation
  • it allows the state to infringe on people’s rights by acting in the name of national security
  • amendments will difficult or impossible

The group called on the junta “to return power to the people by calling an election as soon as possible if the draft charter fails to pass the referendum, and allow the parliament which takes shape after the election to draft a new constitution and carry out reforms based on fully-fledged democracy.”

Update: A reader suggests moving beyond academics:

1. Starting any time now, the people openly draft their own charter, publicize it in well-identified versions, hold elections in every village until one version gets an absolute majority of eligible citizens’ votes.
2. After the Repudiation on 7 August, the people hold demonstrations throughout Thailand against the dictatorship – ประยุทธ์ออกไป ! – filling the jails to overflowing.
3. After the Repudiation on 7 August, the people hold a general strike until Prayuth and his cronies are gone
4. 1,2,3 above in serial combination.

There needs to be a call – by word of mouth, via Facebook, in handouts, on posted sheets, … that this is the final confrontation between the people and the Army, to banish the Army from politics forever and a day, and to establish the rule of law, based upon the peoples’ constitution.

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