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Thailand Rejects Foreign Election Monitors

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webfact    24,332

Thailand rejects foreign election monitors

thaug.afp.jpg

Suthep: "I don't respect 'farangs'. We

do not have to surrender to them"

BANGKOK, March 24, 2011 (AFP) - Thailand on Thursday dismissed suggestions that foreign observers were needed to monitor its upcoming election, with the deputy prime minister saying he does "not respect" Westerners.

It would be "inappropriate" to allow outside involvement in the poll, which is due in June or July and comes after deadly street protests last year, said Suthep Thaugsuban.

"I don't respect 'farangs'. We do not have to surrender to them," he said, using the Thai word for "Westerners".

Anti-government "Red Shirts" have recently called for international observers to be present.

"I am surprised that Red Shirts do not respect our country's sovereignty... I don't understand why they constantly call for foreign involvement, it is inappropriate," Suthep told reporters.

Thailand has never officially allowed monitors to operate in polling stations during its elections, but the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) has been allowed to work in the country during the last two votes.

"It is true they do not allow the monitors to enter (polling stations) but we observe from outside, it's quite easy," said executive director Somsri Hananuntasuk.

She said she was "surprised" at Suthep's comments, adding that other members of the ruling Democrat party, including Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva "welcomes international observers".

Thailand is struggling to recover from mass Bangkok rallies by the Reds, in which more than 90 people died in clashes between troops and protesters in April and May last year. It was the worst political violence in decades.

The kingdom has suffered years of political instability, punctuated by unrest and military intervention, seeing 18 actual or attempted coups since 1932 when the country became a constitutional monarchy.

Commentators believe the upcoming poll is likely to highlight the country's divisions.

The elected prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a hero to many in the Red Shirt movement, was ousted in a coup in 2006, sparking ongoing political turmoil.

Abhisit's government is seen as undemocratic by the Reds as it came to power in an army-backed 2008 parliamentary vote after a court ruling threw out the previous administration, made up of Thaksin allies who had won an election.

Thailand, known as the "Land of Smiles", is usually regarded as friendly to foreigners.

According to Abhisit the kingdom received 15.8 million overseas tourists last year and the sector generated 585 billion baht ($19 billion), or 7 percent of economic output.

afplogo.jpg

-- (c) Copyright AFP 2011-03-24

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Insight    291

Suthep's comments might seem a bit harsh and inappropriate (they are!), but if you ask any Thai - who isn't an ardent red shirt - how they feel about foreign election monitors, you'll probably get a similar response!

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appropriate    6

Reading some of my young Thai niece's schoolbooks it's no wonder they end up which such a twisted xenophobic view of reality. Taught (indoctrinated) from a very young age how special the Thai people are compared to everyone else. :(

Such a pity that such a beautiful country has such a high % of simpleminded fools populating it.

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londonthai    943

monitors don't have to be "the westerners", they might be from asean or from any other country in the world.

as suthep does not respect westerners, than equally the westerners should not respect this corrupt and ignorant military put government.

decline all proposal for observers - the right step to stay put in an authoritarian form of government thailand always was.

anyway, general elections are sham and show for the poor, if there is no an alternative political force to the present socio-economic system

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appropriate    6

Suthep's comments might seem a bit harsh and inappropriate (they are!), but if you ask any Thai - who isn't an ardent red shirt - how they feel about foreign election monitors, you'll probably get a similar response!

From various discussions with pretty well educated Thais about condominium investment and purchasing many said they were happy for other Thais (rich) to take advantage of them and accepted it as the way Thailand is, but were indignant about foreigners doing it as wrong and immoral. :blink:

You can only laugh...

or complain on internet forums. :D

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jimbeam1    190

Suthep's comments might seem a bit harsh and inappropriate (they are!), but if you ask any Thai - who isn't an ardent red shirt - how they feel about foreign election monitors, you'll probably get a similar response!

I read it as, he said that he didn't respect westerners. Period. Suppose it could be the interpretation?

jb1

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softgeorge    496

Can't be democratically elected if someone is there making sure it is legal and above board. They pay good money for votes

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softgeorge    496

Suthep's comments might seem a bit harsh and inappropriate (they are!), but if you ask any Thai - who isn't an ardent red shirt - how they feel about foreign election monitors, you'll probably get a similar response!

From various discussions with pretty well educated Thais about condominium investment and purchasing many said they were happy for other Thais (rich) to take advantage of them and accepted it as the way Thailand is, but were indignant about foreigners doing it as wrong and immoral. :blink:

You can only laugh...

or complain on internet forums. :D

Geez my Thai wife owns three properties in Melbourne Australia and that includes the land.

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Insight    291

Suthep's comments might seem a bit harsh and inappropriate (they are!), but if you ask any Thai - who isn't an ardent red shirt - how they feel about foreign election monitors, you'll probably get a similar response!

I read it as, he said that he didn't respect westerners. Period. Suppose it could be the interpretation?

jb1

Could be quoted out of context, but given this is Suthep speaking - could well be!

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Jingthing    34,173
"I don't respect 'farangs'. We do not have to surrender to them," he said, using the Thai word for "Westerners".

A gentleman and a diplomat. Excuse me while I vomit.

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thaihome    1,064

The past 4 elections have been monitored by Asia Network for Free Election (ANFREL) in conjunction with the Poll Watch Foundation and the People’s Network for Elections in Thailand (P-NET).

The Election Commission of Thailand has fully supported this monitoring.

What Thailand has not allowed is western NGO's to monitor the elections.

TH

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jayboy    4,307

The past 4 elections have been monitored by Asia Network for Free Election (ANFREL) in conjunction with the Poll Watch Foundation and the People’s Network for Elections in Thailand (P-NET).

The Election Commission of Thailand has fully supported this monitoring.

What Thailand has not allowed is western NGO's to monitor the elections.

TH

I actually have some sympathy for the Thais position on this.Best stick with reputable regional organisations and local NGOS

ANFREL is indeed an excellent organisation and its report on the 2006 election is well worth reading.

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wintermute    101

I agree with the deputy PM's assessment as well. Western NGOs and their members are often as crooked as they come and fronts for intelligence agencies.

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slapout    2,830

The run up to the election is what they should be concerned with first. Then monitor the voting place. Let the people police themselves . The Thai voter as do other countries voters deserve what they legally vote into office. When, not if, unlawful acts are alleged/proven, disqualify every candidate of that party in the Province. Then press charges against those involved.

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