Press Releases : Comments on the Result of the Constitution Referendum
With regard to some comments from foreign governments and media following the Constitution referendum on 7 August 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to clarify as follows:
1. The Referendum was conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner, in accordance with internationally accepted practices and standards as well as internal legislative requirements. The Election Commission, an independent body that organized it, is not under any influence from the government. The result of the referendum is unequivocal and decisive, with over 60% of the eligible voters casting their votes.
2. The government voluntarily included the referendum as part of the roadmap, with a view to encourage public participation in shaping the country’s future and to allow people a say in the most fundamental law of the country. The Constitution drafting and referendum processes are inclusive of all sectors as demonstrated through various seminars, televised debates and public discussions at the national and provincial levels. This had led to a high level of public understanding of the draft Constitution.
3. In the period leading up to the referendum, the citizens were free to express opinions regarding the draft in good faith and in accordance with the laws. Many prominent politicians, academics as well as the press had publicly criticized the draft. However, after the unofficial result of the referendum was released, none of these critics has disputed the outcome.
4. The Royal Thai Government hopes that those concerned will respect the will and wishes of the Thai people in deciding their future, as they should do to any other countries in similar circumstances. Such gestures will help Thailand move towards election in 2017 as well as lay a strong foundation for sustainable democracy and social reconciliation.