EC urged to allow international monitoring of election

Thailand’s Election Commission (EC) has been urged to speed up its approval of requests from international organizations to send observers to monitor the upcoming general election.

Mr. Aekkapant Pinthavanich, director of the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies at Mahidol University, said today that the election is only two weeks away and the EC has yet not approved even a single request to send teams to monitor the actual polling.

He explained that, usually, there are two periods of election monitoring, namely a period starting several days before election day extending through the post-election period, which covers any complaints of election fraud, abuses of authority and the announcement of the election results. Secondly, the actual casting of ballots and vote counting period of just one or two days.

Aekkapant urged the EC to be open-minded and to allow international monitors to observe the election, claiming that this would boost the image of Thailand abroad and would help ensure that the election is transparent.

Citing Article 22 (5) of the Election Commission Act, Aekkapant said that the law mandates the EC to support educational institutes, state agencies and the private sector in educating people about the democratic system and political participation. However, he claims that the EC has yet to do anything to make it possible for any of these to make contributions to the education of the people in this area.

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