11 July 2024

The Election Commission has made clear it does not object to having international observers monitor the forthcoming election on February 24.

EC chairman Itthiporn Boonprakong said Wednesday that he had discussed the issue of international observers with the other six election commissioners and all agreed in principle that foreign observers are welcome as there is no reason not to continue the tradition of having foreign observers monitor elections here.

However, he said that foreign observers would have to follow Thai laws and regulations.

Itthiporn confirmed that there has been no formal request from the European Union to send observers for the upcoming poll despite earlier media reports to the contrary.

Asked whether Foreign Minister Don Paramudvinai’s objection to foreign observers would have any bearing on the EC’s judgment, the EC chairman said the EC is responsible for making the decision on the matter but insisted that the EC has no conflict with the foreign minister.

Don has voiced objection to having foreign observers, saying that Thailand is capable of holding the election without needing foreign observers.  Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said early this week that the decision on the matter would rest with the EC.

Itthiporn said that EC would invite countries which used to invite Thailand to observe their elections to observe the elections in Thailand.  He cited the case of Anfrel (Asian Network for Free Election) which regularly sent observers to Thailand to observe polls in the past.