Thaksin urges 'no' for charter

Thaksin urges 'no' for charter

Thaksin Shinawatra appeared at a gathering on YouTube on Friday, urging his supporters to reject the draft charter. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Thaksin Shinawatra appeared at a gathering on YouTube on Friday, urging his supporters to reject the draft charter. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has sent a clear signal on the draft charter, urging his supporters to throw it out.

Thaksin told a gathering of red shirts in Finland on Friday that the draft charter was against the will of the majority and said ''all democratic advocates'' should reject it.

His latest message was posted on YouTube on Friday as he was giving a speech to his supporters.

The only chance for them to follow his call is in a referendum. The draft charter needs public endorsement in a referendum tentatively planned for early January if it is approved by the National Reform Council. The council plans to vote on it on Sept 7.

Thaksin's move comes as the Royal Thai Police may be preparing to strip him of his police rank following his controversial interview in Seoul in May, in which he claimed that privy councillors were behind the protests leading to the coup last year.

National police chief Pol Gen Somyot Poompunmuang said on Friday that he would finish the process before his retirement at the end of September after a joint panel led by Justice Minister Gen Paiboon Koomchaya agreed to strip the former premier of his rank.

Thaksin said he couldn't care less about his police rank and challenged authorities involved in the issue to do it.

The former prime minister also slammed the government for failing to bring about reconciliation and criticised "those in power'' for bringing the country backward.

They showed no interest in helping people, especially farmers and workers, and failed to tackle economic problems, he said, adding that Thailand's credibility had been damaged.

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