THAILAND’S Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-Ocha says he will not step down if the nation votes against the draft charter in the Aug. 7 referendum.
Prayuth was responding Monday to a reporter’s question on whether he would emulate British PM David Cameron, who announced he would resign after Britain voted to leave the European Union in last week’s ‘Brexit’ referendum.
Leaders of Thailand’s Pheu Thai party, whose government was deposed by a military coup in May 2014, had suggested he should resign if the draft constitution did not pass.
Prayuth said he had no intention of leaving, because Britain did not have the same problems as Thailand and, unlike Cameron, he did not come to office by election.
“The two cases are different. Do you want me to resign? I won’t. I set the rules. He did not come up like I did. His country does not have the same problems ours does,” the junta leader said, as quoted by The Bangkok Post.
The draft of the proposed constitution is the second to be drawn up during Prayuth’s tenure. In September last year, the National Legislative Assembly voted against the first draft.
The writers of the charter said it was aimed at detering corrupt politicians from being in parliament.
Opponents of the current draft charter, such as Pheu Thai Party core member, Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, claim the draft places mechanisms that are geared towards controlling any party that wins a majority in the House. This would disable an elected government from functioning properly.
Dozens of politicians and activists who called for a rejection of the draft charter have been arrested and jailed. Under the Referendum Act, campaigning for or against the draft constitution is forbidden.
Additional reporting by Associated Press