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Phuket Opinion: A Constitution for you

PHUKET: For many expats living in Phuket, the referendum today (Aug 7) is likely seen as having little direct relevance to their daily lives – other than how the political landscape for the coming years will affect the nation’s economy, and one’s bank balance.

opinion, politics, marine,

The Phuket News

Sunday 7 August 2016, 09:00AM

Phuket Opinion: A Constitution for you

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 (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;

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(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.



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Kurt | 07 August 2016 - 16:24:02

PN, a nice opinion article.
As foreigners in Thailand are let out of anything, not able even to involve in Obor Tor matters, like in many other countries, yes, little direct relevance to them.
That is the way it is in Thailand.
Actually pity, as foreigners from first world countries living here, can contribute a lot to lift 3rd world country Thailand to a higher level.
Many of them have a lot experience to share for free, as they love Thailand and willing to contribute.
About water management, about tourist safety, about environmental projects, about transport, and so on.

This are all non political issues. Good for Thailand.

Beside that, I learned today that many thai, working in hotel industry between 7 am and 3pm, sailing on boats, air crews, not went to vote.
That are a lot of people!

The ballot stations should have not closed at 4pm, but 8 pm.
And why not? 
The alcohol ban is until midnight.

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