UN does not want to monitor referendum: CDC

national July 05, 2016 01:00

By THE NATION

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Charter drafter spokesman Norachit Sinhaseni says the United Nations has not requested being allowed to observe the upcoming referendum on the constitution but believes the public should be allowed to participate in the process.



Norachit, as a representative of the Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC), last week met with UN deputy secretary general Jan Eliasson in New York to inform him of the current situation regarding the new constitution ahead of the national plebiscite on August 7. 
The veteran diplomat, who served as ambassador and permanent representative of Thailand to the UN, said he told Eliasson that the charter had been written in line with the country’s context. 
Eliasson suggested that the public should be allowed to freely express their opinions on the charter, he said, stressing that the remark was not meant to be an intervention in the country’s internal affairs.
The CDC has a proactive plan to publicise the charter draft and the referendum. 
For provincial and district levels, the CDC asked responsible agents to deliver essential documents to voters.
But it has been reported that the local mouthpieces for the dissemination of the charter to the public, the so-called Kru Khor (Teacher C), have not yet received the charter draft copies and other accompanying documents. 
In addition, some articles and pages in the charter draft were in the wrong place, Election Commission deputy secretary general Thanit Sriprathet admitted yesterday.
He said however that only some 100 copies had the mistakes and they had been fixed.
The correct versions have been distributed to all districts, he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said that despite the issues, he believed responsible agents would be able to disseminate information in time. 
He cited the previous referendum in 2007 as being successful when it also encountered similar problems.