More of a concern will be how to avoid the splotches of traffic massed around the 370 polling stations across the island as Thais cast their votes to decide whether or not to approve the draft Constitution proposed, and whether to allow the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to appoint all the members of the Senate to be.
It’s hard to blame them, given the two coups, the Thaksin and Yingluck administrations, a short-lived Democrat government and the past two years under military governance. If anything, political upheaval has become the norm.
While it may be difficult to perceive how a Constitution works “on the street”, we do urge foreigners to at least read the document, an unofficial translation of which can be found at un.or.th (click here).
Much of the Thai constitution will be an eye-opener for expats who have never gleaned the nation’s charter, though many of the provisions are exactly the same if not incredibly similar to the provisions in force before the events of May 22, 2014.
More importantly, few foreigners appreciate how many rights are enshrined in the Thai Constitution, notably in the sections Duties of the State and Duties of the Thai people. If you aim to take anything away from this weekend, while the bars are closed, at least remember this:
Section 41: A person and a community shall enjoy the right;
(1) to be informed of and have access to public information or news in possession of State agencies as provided by law,
(2) to submit a petition to a State agency and be informed of the result of its consideration without delay,
(3) to bring an action against a State agency holding it liable for an act or omission of an act as committed by its government official, official and employee.
Section 59: The State shall disclose public information or news in possession of State agencies which are not in respect of security of the State or official secrets as specified by law, and shall facilitate public access to such information or news.
Those are your Constitutional rights, and have been for a long time. Don’t think they do not apply to you.