A military-backed constitution has been approved by voters in Thailand, which deeply ingrains the military’s approval for future elected governments. Early results show more than 60 percent support the measure.
The latest on Thailand referendum from Tony Cheng
CCTV's Tony Cheng on Thailand's referendumCCTV's Tony Cheng explains what's next after Thailand voted to approve its constitutional referendum.
As the count got underway, it was soon apparent that Thais had voted Yes. Yes to the draft constitution, and to accepting an appointed, but unelected, Prime Minister.
Although the official result won’t be announced for several days, the margin of victory already appears clear, approximately 2 to 1.
More from Tony Cheng reports in Bangkok.
Military-backed Thailand constitution approved by votersA military-backed constitution has been approved by voters in Thailand, which deeply ingrains the military's approval for future elected governments. Early results show more than 60 percent support the measure.
That will be a disappointment for Thailands last elected Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, who came out to cast her vote early on Sunday.
She had made it clear she opposed the draft, despite attempts by the Military government to silence her, and other opponents of the proposed constitution.
But she was still wary about openly criticizing the government.
General Prayuth, the current Prime Minister and leader of the 2014 coup, had also been out early to vote, although he remained uncharacteristically silent.
The military have arrested and charged those opposing the constitution in the run up to the vote, in a process that may tarnish the legitimacy of the result.
Turnout was about fifty five percent, and many voters remained confused about the actual content of the charter.
The ballot had relatively simple choices being offered to voters.
One question read: “Should you vote for the new constitution?” with a Yes or No vote
Another read: “Will you accept an unelected Prime Minister?” with a Yes or No vote.
But many are still saying they’re confused by what’s in the constitution, particularly since the government banned campaigning on the referendum and suppressed discussion about it among the general public.
That said, people voting Sunday said they’re keen to exercise their right to vote, even if they’re not allowed to discuss openly what they’re voting for.
“The importance of this referendum for me is how we move the country forward and I’ve come to exercise my right to vote,” one voter said.
Another said the hope is that the referendum will help move the economy forward.
Whether the result will do that is unclear.
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