Updated: Referendum (no) doubt

[Update: fixed a typo.]

In yet another move that makes Thailand look increasingly like Bizarro World, the Bizarro backwards world, Thailand’s Bizarro Election Commissioner – the one who opposes elections and tries to stop them and who prevents debate on the referendum – Somchai Srisuttiyakorn has stated that “even if the Constitutional Court rules against a particular clause of the referendum law,” the “Aug 7 referendum will go ahead as planned…”.

Readers will recall the referendum being in doubt only yesterday.

Somchai, who held quite different politically-motivated views when he campaigned against an elected government, now says that “if” – and it is a big “if” – the Constitutional Court “accepts for consideration an Ombudsman petition against the clause which is seen to restrict freedom of expression, and rules it violates the interim charter, this will not affect the August referendum schedule.” He said that “the only way to postpone the referendum is to amend the 2014 interim charter’s clauses relating to the referendum” as these clauses, he says, “stipulate … a specific time frame for the referendum, and require … the Election Commission (EC) to announce the date for the referendum anywhere from 90 to 120 days from when the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) hands the summary of the final draft charter to the Election Commission (EC).”

Going further into Bizarro-EC-speak, Somchai said that even if the “offences and penalties stipulated by the referendum law are ruled unconstitutional by the court,” this didn’t matter because “there are still other laws to punish those who disrupt the referendum.” Yes, we know, why have the law in the first place? And, wasn’t the Constitutional Court a bit like God to the EC, Somchai and other anti-democrats just a couple of short years ago? But, then, this is Bizarro Land.

Meanwhile, CDC puppet-in-chief Meechai Ruchupan worried in public that “if Section 61 of the referendum law is ruled invalid by the court, this would encourage those anti-charter groups to create unrest in the lead-up to the referendum.” He said the EC had to enforce “measures to deal with the issue.” He means stopping opponents of the referendum.

Bizarro Land has supermarket-style laws from which the anti-democratic elite can pick and choose and even make returns if they so wish and are unhappy with the product-law. It has independent agencies that are not independent when that is politically inconvenient. And it has a cast of anti-democrat characters who seem as intelligent as a lump of iron and unable to remember what they said the day before yesterday. But, then, for this Bizarro Land lot, yesterday is tomorrow.

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