BANGKOK, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Former Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva expressed on Wednesday his objection to a military-directed constitution on which a public referendum is approaching.
The leader of the Democrat Party, the country's oldest, gave a press conference to announce his opposition to the charter, drafted by an ad hoc committee all members of which were handpicked by Premier Prayut Chan-o-cha.
However, Abhisit maintained that it was merely his personal opinion, and what he said by no means manifest any view of the Democrat Party as a whole or any member of its rank and file on the issue.
The ex-premier called on his successor to consider reintroducing the constitution of 2007 if the draft charter was eventually rejected on August 7, the date set for the nationwide referendum and suggested that the premier stick to the so-called Roadmap in which a general election is tentatively scheduled for some time next year.
The ruling junta, concurrently led by the premier following the 2014 coup which he himself orchestrated, had set the Roadmap toward "national reforms" which were meant to feature ways and means to combat corruption in government.
Graft allegations had been cited as a major catalyst to the bloodless coup in which the National Council for Peace and Order, the official name of the ruling junta, overthrew an elected government under ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra following months of Bangkok street protests.
Abhisit said he decided against the draft charter primarily because he believed it would probably otherwise lead to future political conflict and social division as had been the case over the last decade.
"Under the draft charter, the elected political sector would not be able to work effectually to meet the people's demands or solve their woes while the stepped-up roles of unelected senators would even raise higher possibilities of political and social conflict than before.
"The apparent difficulties in amending the draft charter would merely prompt future conflict like that which already occurred in previous years," said the ex-premier.
The draft charter seeks to increase the roles and powers of the bureaucratic circle while it apparently restricts the rights and freedom of the people and varied civil groups, according to the Democrat Party leader.
He said he doubted that a future government could effectually fight corruption if the draft charter was ever approved and enforced. Enditem