Thai junta refuses to accredit election monitors in referendum vote

Breaking News July 29, 2016 14:40

6,574 Viewed

Bangkok - An election monitoing group on Friday said the Thai military government had refused to grant it accreditation to monitor an upcoming constitutional referendum.

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) said that repeated attempts to gain accreditation to monitor the August 7 referendum, Thailand's first trip to the polls since the military took power in 2014, were met with silence.
"We have repeatedly asked for the last two months for the government to accredit us to monitor this election," Pongsak Chanon, ANFREL's Thailand Coordinator, told dpa by phone.
"We gave them many deadlines because we have to organise nationwide monitors and analysts. All those deadlines have lapsed," he said.
The lack of accreditation means that ANFREL is unlikely to monitor the referendum in any official capacity, Pongsak said.
The military government had said in June that it did not need outsiders monitoring an internal matter.
The government has been bullish about the upcoming vote, which analysts see as a litmus test on military rule.
The junta has also banned public discussion of both the constitution and the referendum, and has arrested activists and politicians who violate the order.
Despite the ban, many have come out against the draft charter, saying it would prolong military rule by allowing for a fully appointed upper house of parliament and provisions for an unelected prime minister.

Most view