Court rules Sect 61 of Referendum Act constitutional

Court rules Sect 61 of Referendum Act constitutional

An official posts a statement on the Constitutional Court's ruling regarding Section 61 of the Referendum Act on Wednesday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
An official posts a statement on the Constitutional Court's ruling regarding Section 61 of the Referendum Act on Wednesday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The controversy surrounding Section 61 of the Referendum Act ended on Wednesday after the Constitutional Court ruled that it was in line with the interim charter.

All nine court judges agreed unanimously that the section did not violate the 2014 interim charter in a decision that cleared doubt over the wording of the section.

The Ombudsman petitioned the court to make the decision on the section on the grounds that it could restrict freedom of expression.

The section forbids publication of "false information" by any media which might influence the way the public votes. It also bars people from spreading information in a "violent, aggressive, vulgar or coercive" manner.

The government, Election Commission and National Legislative Assembly had voiced the same position before the ruling that the referendum scheduled for Aug 7 would not be derailed by the court.


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