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Thailand junta's 'undemocratic' new constitution 'gives power for the army to commit any action' in face of MPs

Critics charged yesterday that Thailand’s military junta plans to make the country’s constitution less democratic.

They said that by reducing the power of elected politicians and increasing the number of appointed legislators, the military aims to allow the conservative, royalist ruling elite to retain power.

Thailand adopted a temporary constitution on Tuesday, supposedly taking its first step toward the return of electoral democracy after two months of military rule.

But the charter’s clauses allow the ruling junta to continue to hold substantial power even after an interim cabinet and legislature take office in September.

“This gives the power for the army to commit any actions that might contradict or even go beyond the power given under this constitution,” warned Siam University law lecturer Ekachai Chainuvati.

Although the interim charter is supposed to pave the way for civilian rule, it gives the ruling junta supreme power over political developments.

It also legalises all actions it has taken since the coup.

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