Thailand to vote on new constitution

Bangkok, Aug 6 (IANS) Millions of Thais are slated to vote on Sunday on a new constitution that will give extra powers to the country’s military, which seized control of the government in a 2014 coup.

Voters will be asked whether they accept the draft constitution, and whether to permit the country’s Senate to jointly vote for Prime Minister along with the House of Representatives, CNN reported on Saturday.

Results are expected late Sunday night. If passed, it will be Thailand’s 20th constitution.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, former commander in chief of the Thai army, claimed that the new constitution is part of a road back to full democracy, CNN said.

Prayut said on Friday that he would vote in favour of the constitution.

Among the changes introduced, the document will allow for the Prime Minister to be appointed by the National Assembly, rather than elected, and reserves seats in the Senate for the military.

According to analysts, the constitution will allow the military to maintain power in future without the need to stage coups, of which Thailand has seen 12 since 1932, CNN added.



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