UDD pressing ahead with fraud centres despite warnings
published : 18 Jun 2016 at 20:15
Red-shirt leaders on Sunday plan to launch centres nationwide to shadow the charter referendum but Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has promised to shut them down.
Key figures of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) will make the announcement at Imperial World in Lat Phrao, where they opened their main anti-fraud main base on June 5.
UDD leader Jatuporn Prompan said on Saturday that all leading figures in the group would be on the fifth floor of the shopping centre to coordinate with other provincial centres on the launch.
He said the gathering should not be seen as as political since the red-shirt members were joining hands to prevent fraud in the referendum on the draft charter set for Aug 7.
Former UDD leader Tida Tawornseth vowed to overcome all obstacles to continue the work of the centres. She said she hoped for understanding from security authorities in other provinces about the goals of the centres.
But the prime minister said after arriving back in Thailand from his visit to India that authorities would close any fraud-sleuthing centres that are opened.
Gen Prayut also warned UDD members against defying the military regime's ban on gatherings of more than five people for political activities, and the provisions in the Referendum Act against wearing clothing bearing messages about the vote.
The Referendum Act also places severe limitations on public dicsussions of the charter. Any public attempts to influence opinion for or against the draft are banned.
Authorities have been monitoring UDD activities and ordered a key red-shirt member in Lampang on Wednesday to take down a sign promoting the centre in the province.
Gen Prayut on June 6 was apparently irritated by the plan and his deputy, Gen Prawit Wongsuwon also warned the red shirts on Monday to close all centres. He urged them to leave the job of overseeing the referendum to the Election Commission.