BANGKOK – Junta chairman and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has blasted critics of the draft constitution written by his appointees saying politicians have no right to criticize the new constitution being drafted under the junta’s oversight.
The retired general today lashed out at politicians from rival factions who have urged his appointed National Reform Council to reject the new charter when it goes to a vote early next month – a move that could torpedo the junta’s promise of a smooth transition to the next election, the Khaosod News Reported.
“They have no right to suggest that to anyone. Do they have the right?” Prayuth told reporters yesterday. “Why do the media give a platform to these people?”
Prayuth stated unequivocally his opinion that civilian politicians are overstepping their bounds by expressing opinions on the proposed constitution’s merits.
“Politicians are not involved,” he said in his characteristically gruff and querulous style. “It’s already generous of me for letting these people talk. “Usually, these people shouldn’t be allowed to speak at all.”
Speaking at news conference today, Prayuth responded to these challenges with fury.
“These people, now that they are being harsh to me, I will have to be harsh in return,” he said. “Well, they shouldn’t reject the laws if there’s legal action against them. Don’t whine and scream that they are treated unjustly. That would be wrong thinking, because they did it to themselves.”
He stopped short of saying he would gag politicians from expressing their opinion the Khaosod reported.
“There’s no need for a prohibition now. But when the time comes, I will deal with them,” Prayuth said. “Today I have to teach people to think. Why do they allow anyone to misguide them?”
Expressing frustration, the junta chairman told reporters his reasoning for Thailand’s seemingly intractable political strife.
“Today we are still stuck in the trap of democracy, a trap of conflicts,” he said. “We still let emotions dictate our judgment. We have to fix these issues.” – Khaosod