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World

Thailand's army looks to tighten grip on power

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World

Thailand's army looks to tighten grip on power

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COMING UP:Thailand's army looks to tighten grip on power

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Transcript

00:00:02
>> No more military coups. That's the message from Thailand's government as it gets ready for a referendum on a new constitution this weekend. A constitution it says will finally bring political stability. But here's the thing, the government is the military. It took power in a coup 2 years ago.
00:00:20
And the constitution seems to be aimed at keeping the army in charge. Reuter's Amy Sawitta Lefevre says that's kicked up a firestorm of controversy.>> Well most experts that we've spoken to actually say that this new draft constitution has no upsides. That it's in fact one of the worst constitutions that Thailand has ever seen.
00:00:40
Critics are saying that it's a huge step backwards for democracy in Thailand. And by critics I mean everyone. Major political parties, opposition groups, student activists. They're all saying that this draft constitution that Thailand will vote on on Sunday is going to enshrine military power and basically ensure that military is effectively babysitting or controlling any future elected civilian government.
00:01:04
>> The military elite has cracked down on descent ahead of the vote arresting dozens of activists and politicians for campaigning against the draft. Polls how a big majority of Thailand's 50 million voters are still not sure how they'll vote. But either outcome could be bad news for the country.
00:01:22
>> The people that we've spoken to, including those on the committee that have drafted this constitution, say there is no backup plan. So it's very unclear what will happen if this constitution is rejected. And what people fear is that there will be a potential for more turmoil if the draft is rejected.
00:01:43
>> Thailand is no stranger to turmoil. Since helping to overthrow the monarchy in 1932, the military has staged 19 coups, most of them successful.