EC pencils in Jan 10 for constitutional referendum

EC pencils in Jan 10 for constitutional referendum

Date remains tentative, ballot questions still undetermined

Election officers count the votes at a booth in Bangkok during the 2007 constitutional referendum. The latest proposed constitution could be put to a vote on Jan 10, the Election Commission’s chairman said Wednesday. (Bangkok Post photo)
Election officers count the votes at a booth in Bangkok during the 2007 constitutional referendum. The latest proposed constitution could be put to a vote on Jan 10, the Election Commission’s chairman said Wednesday. (Bangkok Post photo)

The Election Commission has pencilled in Jan 10 for the public referendum on the draft constitution, EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen said on Wednesday.

Mr Supachai's announced the tentative ballot date after the cabinet and the National Council for Peace and Order agreed to amend the interim charter to allow the public to give a thumb's up or down to the proposed law of the land.

The EC chairman said if the National Reform Council approved the draft by Sept 6 as planned, it would be sent to the EC by Sept 16.

The commission would then have to find a printer to produce 19 million copies by Nov 15, with voters receiving their copies by Nov 30. The vote would then be held six weeks later and cost about 3 billion baht to carry out, he estimated.

It has not yet been determined whether the referendum will be a simple "yes" or "no" vote, or if several questions will be posed to voters, Mr Supachai said. The cabinet will draft the ballot and send it to the EC.

However, he warned, the questions should not be leading, confusing or hard to understand.

If the EC finds problems with the questions, it would notify the cabinet, a scenario Mr Supachai said he did not anticipate.

Mr Supachai said he was confident the EC would be able to effectively disseminate proposed constitution and explain the referendum process to the public.


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