Thai junta’s Constitution wins people’s approval [IR]
- Thailand voted to approve a new Constitution drawn up by the ruling junta, in a major victory for army and a blow to the stuttering pro-democracy movement.
- Authorities estimated subdued turnout at around 55 per cent of Thailand’s 50.2 million registered voters, after a poll run-up that saw independent campaigning and open debate barred.
- Army chief-turned-Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha toppled the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014.
- Kingdom is split after a decade of political turmoil that has damaged growth, seen democracy shunted aside and left scores dead in rival street protests.
- Only the impoverished and rural northeast — a region that has voted in droves for successive governments turfed out by the arm.
- The deep south— hit by a Muslim insurgency — voted against the charter.
- Thai military has successfully seized power 12 times since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932 and this Constitution will be the kingdom’s 20th.