Observers call for Thai election results to be respected

Bangkok, May 17 (EFE).- Thailand’s general election took place “peacefully” and more transparently than the last, said a group of international observers on Wednesday, who in turn called for the will of the people to be respected in the ongoing process of forming a government.

“We want to congratulate ECT – Electoral Commission of Thailand – for organizing the election in an orderly, peacefully and largely acceptable” manner, Rohana Hettiarachchie, secretary general of the Asian Network for Free Elections (Anfrel), told a news conference in Bangkok.

Thailand held a general election on Sunday in which the pro-democracy opposition bloc, led by the reformist Move Forward party and its leader Pita Limjaroenrat, won a landslide victory over military-backed parties that have been in power for almost a decade.

The newly formed six-party coalition looks to have obtained 310 of the 500 seats in the lower house, short of the 376 parliamentary votes required to govern. It remains uncertain whether the winning opposition bloc will be able to form a government because in addition, the 250 members of the Senate, hand-picked by the former military junta, also vote for the new prime minister.

In this framework, Hettiarachchie stressed that it is not Anfrel’s role to debate the electoral legal framework, but stressed that it should not create obstacles for what has been decided by the voters at the polls.

The electoral process “has to respect the people’s will always,” he pointed out.

He added that throughout the coming months, the organization “will be closely monitoring and observing the future, the development and the situation in Thailand.”

In general, observers pointed out that Sunday’s election proceeded positively and was “more transparent” than the 2019 election, especially in relation to the vote count, which was “widely open to the public,” and commended the ECT for publishing timely, accurate and accessible preliminary results.

However, they stressed that some aspects could be improved and advocated for greater transparency including in other stages of the process, especially in the tabulation of votes and the availability of a database to monitor the status of electoral disputes such as denunciations or complaints received by the commission. EFE


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