NCPO seizes Democrats' Elderly Day giveaways

NCPO seizes Democrats' Elderly Day giveaways

The medicine box and towel giveaways of the Democrats have joined the red bowls of Thaksin and Pheu Thai as contraband, illegal and officially
The medicine box and towel giveaways of the Democrats have joined the red bowls of Thaksin and Pheu Thai as contraband, illegal and officially "divisive" to national security. (File photos)

The National Council for Peace and Order confirmed on Tuesday it had seized thousands of "divisive" blue medicine boxes and towels the Democrat Party had planned to hand out in Kamphaeng Phet province.

NCPO spokesman Piyapong Klinpan said the junta had acted against any handout it believes would create division among people, regardless of who sponsored it. The military recently seized almost 9,000 red Songkran water bowls from the Democrats' rival, the Pheu Thai Party.

"The NCPO adheres to principles, righteousness and fairness under the same law. People may wonder why things cannot be handed out during this time of happiness, please understand the officials," Col Piyapong said.

He added that after Songkran, rules concerning the constitutional referendum would become clearer and the NCPO would monitor expressions of opinions and any possible handouts. He said no parties should stir any feelings that would lead to turmoil.

Col Piyapong said the NCPO had not had any politician undergo its week-long "attitude adjustment" camp following the earlier seizure of red plastic bowl giveaways by Pheu Thai. People involved were only invited for "talks", he said.

The Democrats had prepared more than 1,200 sets of medicine boxes and towels for the elderly in Phran Kratai district of Kamphaeng Phet, one of the party's political strongholds. The giveaways were aimed at marking Elderly Day, which coincides with Songkhran Day April 13.

The boxes are blue, the colour standard for the Democrat Party, and carry photos of leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and his "love and care" slogan.

On Monday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha blasted the big two political groups for their opposition to the draft constitution and the extra question added to the Aug 7 referendum that creates the possibility of appointed senators taking part in the selection of the next premier.

Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said on Tuesday that parties can have their own judgments of the draft, but it was not right to influence others because people had the right to make their own decisions.

Any comments pushing others to agree or disagree with the new charter was considered as violating people's rights, Gen Anupong said.

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