People in Thailand have voted in a referendum to either approve or reject a new constitution written by the army, which seized power last year. Exit polls suggest it has been approved by 68 percent, as despite people’s doubts about army rule, the alternative appears to be deeper political turmoil.
45 million voters have been asked if they want Thailand to return to 1980’s style “managed democracy”. The constitution is designed to prevent the emergence of another single party led by a charismatic leader.
It is also designed to restore rule by the country’s elites which was threatened by the rise of Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister in exile in Britain, and facing an extradition battle on charges of corruption and abuse of power. The electoral commission says it expects turnout to be over 70 percent.