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No photos or selfies during vote, says EC

BANGKOK: The Election Commission (EC) has warned referendum voters against taking selfies in polling stations because they risk breaking the law.


Bangkok Post

Saturday 30 July 2016, 05:30PM


A document to assist blind voters in the Aug 7 referendum is shown at a seminar hosted by the War Veterans Organisation of Thailand and the Election Commission on Wednesday. Photo: Bangkok Post / Chanat Katanyu
A document to assist blind voters in the Aug 7 referendum is shown at a seminar hosted by the War Veterans Organisation of Thailand and the Election Commission on Wednesday. Photo: Bangkok Post / Chanat Katanyu

“Do not bring mobile phones to take selfies while casting votes or take any other photos in polling stations because the act is bound to violate the law,” Election Commissioner Prawit Rattanapian said.

He was giving a lecture to students attending the political development and high-ranking election course at the EC office on Friday (July 29).

Mr Prawit said campaigns for the referendum have received good feedback from the public. He is confident that voter turnout will exceed 57 per cent, the 2007 referendum turnout.

The EC has set a goal of a 80% voter turnout and efforts will be made to persuade people to vote to meet that target.

He expressed confidence there will be no cheating in the referendum.

Referring to debates on the draft charter in the provinces, he said there have been no reports of problems.

Several media channels have now opened the floor for people to voice their opinions on the draft charter, which will be useful in shaping the electorate's understanding on the issue and what their vote means, he said.

There is no problem with politicians expressing their opinions on the charter, and how they intend to vote, as long as they make it clear this is their personal view, with that view based on fact, he added.

Members of the public can report to authorities anything deemed to be in breach of the referendum law, Mr Prawit said.

Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn said it is not necessary for people to have a complete understanding of the weighty draft charter before they go to vote, and that people should only know the key elements of it and decide how best they should vote.

The EC should haul into question its methods if the voter turnout falls short of 57%, he said.

It could take about three days after the referendum to announce the official result, however, the unofficial count could be known as quickly as four hours after the vote, or at about 8pm on the day.

If the “yes” and “no” votes are close, people may need to wait for three days for the official results, but if either side has a winning lead of more than one million votes, there is no need to hear the official results, according to Mr Somchai.

Meanwhile, Constitution Drafting Committee spokesman Amorn Wanichwiwatana said he received information that voice clips and messages had emerged persuading Muslims in the three southernmost provinces to vote down the draft charter.

This is the work of the Wada faction of politicians from the far South, he said.

However, no Wada representatives could be reached for comment at press time yesterday.

The materials suggest the draft charter is aimed at empowering Buddhism and will overshadow other religions while deliberately making it harder for those practicing Islam, he said.

This is untrue because Section 67 of the draft constitution stipulates that the state is required to sustain and support Buddhism and other religions, he said.

Upon talks with security officials, Mr Amorn said the voice clips are bound to distort the contents of the draft charter and could affect people's decision to vote, and the officials must decide how to deal with the matter.

“The two-minute clips disseminated in the three southern border provinces contain elements attacking the draft charter and calls for Muslims in the southern border provinces to overthrow this constitution.

“The clips use central Thai dialect,” said Mr Amorn.

Metropolitan Police Bureau acting commissioner Sanit Mahathavorn said he has told his team to boost efforts to ensure peace and security ahead of the vote.

 

Read original story here.

 

 

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Kurt | 01 August 2016 - 09:50:31

Wow, very, very, very important. Funny TIT.
No transparency.

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