Thai voters approved a junta-backed constitution in a referendum on Sunday, preliminary results showed, an outcome that paves the way for an election next year but will also require future elected governments to rule on the military’s terms. Voters handed the junta led by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha a convincing win in its first major popularity test at the ballot box since it seized power in a 2014 coup. With 94 percent of the vote counted, early results from the Election Commission showed 61.4 percent of Thais had voted for the charter, while 37.9 percent rejected it. Full results are due on Wednesday. The junta says the constitution is designed to heal more than a decade of divisive politics in Thailand that has dented economic growth and left scores dead in civil unrest. But Thailand’s major political parties and critics of the government say the charter will enshrine the military’s political role for years to come.Full Article: Thai junta passes ballot box test with referendum win | Reuters.
Aug 8 2016