Tuesday, 23 August 2016
SocDem Asia expresses its grave concern for the recent ratification of Thailand’s new constitution. From its appearance this democratic process has ushered in a new political order with the support of the Thai people. But the low voter turnout of just over 50% shows the lack of trust in this new Constitution.
More troubling are the provisions of the new constitution which institutionalize military supremacy over civilian rule. The creation of a military-backed senate and appointment of military representatives in the legislature is simply creating the legal framework and justification for the ruling military junta.
This new constitution cannot be countenanced as a welcome development for the Thai people. Instead of serving as a solution towards political stability, it has become a tool for the Thai military leadership to perpetuate their grip on power.
As part of the international community committed to democracy and human rights, we stand by democratic forces in Thailand. Dissent or opposition must not be suppressed. We are aware of the threats to imprisonment and intimidation and call for all parties to uphold human rights. We support the Thai people’s aspirations for the return of a civilian-backed and democratically elected constitution and government. Currently such a government seem not to exist.