Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha thanked the people of the North and the Northeast – whether they accepted or rejected the draft constitution in Sunday’s referendum – and vowed to do his utmost to improve their livelihood and quality of life through long-term development plans.
He also expressed his appreciation for Mr Meechai Ruchupan, chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, for crafting a charter which was accepted by the majority of the Thai people as he insisted that neither the government nor the National Council for Peace and Order had interfered with the CDC in its drafting of the charter.
He said that the charter was regarded as “people’s constitution” because it was approved by more than 50 percent of eligible voters which is in accordance with international standard of referendum. He also warned against some elements who still try to distort the fact about the charter claiming that it was a military-mandated charter.
The prime minister said he could not talk much about what’s next to be done after the referendum, pointing out that he was yet to receive from the Election Commission the official result of the referendum which was initially due to be delivered on Tuesday.
However, he promised to announce the next steps to be taken in a nationwide TV broadcast once he has received the official referendum result from the EC expected on Wednesday.
The prime minister brushed aside criticism from foreign media against the referendum, saying that if the majority of the Thai people approved the draft charter in the referendum “then it was OK” and there is no need for him to make any clarification which, he noted, is the responsibility of the Foreign Ministry.
Asked when he will allow political parties to resume political activities, General Prayut said he would have to assess the situation and the roadmap first. Also, he noted that there are at least 10 charter-related laws which are yet to be promulgated before an election can be staged.