Asian Election Monitors Decry Violence in Thai Campaign

Posted June 21st, 2011 at 7:30 am (UTC-5)
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An international organization is appealing for party leaders in Thailand to ask their supporters to end violence and stop obstructing the campaign processes of their opponents.

The Asian Network for Free Elections, supported by private-sector groups in 11 countries, said Tuesday it has recorded several cases of threats and intimidation during the campaign for Thailand's July 3 election, including the violent deaths of three participants.

ANFREL said the incidents raise serious questions about the freedom of movement of campaign workers, and are not conducive to a clean and free election process.

The group reminded party leaders that 18 Thai parties signed a pledge to direct their candidates and supporters to maintain a nonviolent approach to the election. The group urged them to rededicate themselves to honoring that pledge.

ANFREL, which has fielded international observers for the Thai election, was founded in 1997 as Asia's first regional network of civil society organizations. It is supported by national organizations from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand.