EC confident of over 50 percent voter’s turnout

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Election commissioner in charge of elections Somchai Srisutthiyakorn said he was confident that the referendum voter’s turnout was more than 50 percent and higher than the turnout result of the last referendum.

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He pointed out that unofficial voter’s turnout in some provinces was higher than the 70 percent he predicted with the turnout in Prachin Buri and Lop Buri being recorded at 88.46 and 89.28 percent respectively.

No matter the final outcome of the vote count, he expected all sides of the political spectrum would accept the referendum result.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha thanked voters for their political awareness to exercise their voting rights in the referendum, said government spokesman Maj-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd.

Whatever the outcome of the referendum, he said the prime minister would accept it and pleaded with all parties concern to accept the decision of the people.

Unofficial referendum result of Thai PBS at about 8 pm shows 61.57 percent of the votes were in favour of the draft charter against 38.43 percent. And 58.29 percent were in favour of senators having the right to vote the next prime minister against 41.71 percent who disagreed.

The regional results are as follows: the North, 57.67 percent accept the draft charter against 42.33 percent; Central region, 69.47 percent for and 30.53 percent against; the Northeast, 48.58 percent for and 51.42 percent against; and the South, 76.65 percent for and 23.35 percent against.

Even before an unofficial result of the referendum was announced, the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship announced at a press conference held at its office at about 7 pm that it accepted the result of the referendum.

UDD chairman Jatuporn Promphan told the media, from the very beginning, the UDD was fully aware that it was almost impossible for the draft charter to be defeated in the referendum, yet they would accept the result any way and hoped that Thailand would, from now on, move forward towards true democratic rule.

Jatuporn said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha and members of the National Council for Peace and Order might, tonight, feel happy with their victory “it was a victory which they should not take pride in because their rivals stood not a chance of winning”.

Now that the referendum was over, he asked whether the prime minister would still retain the peace-keeping centre which, he said, has been viewed with disdain for harassing those who think differently from the government.

Jatuporn announced that he would keep this pre-referendum promise to not contest the next election if the draft charter is endorsed in the referendum.