Protection of human rights and Election observation 

Open letter of  24 June Democracy Group  submitted to

Ambassador of the European Union to the Kingdom of Thailand.

Email : somyotfreedom@gmail.com

Tel : 065-5575005

4Th December 2018

Dear Ambassador of the European Union to the Kingdom of Thailand.

Re: Protection of human rights and Election observation

While Thailand has been ruled by the military regime for over four years, it has caused so many problems affecting the country and life of Thai people. One of the drastic problems is the regime’s orders that have caused many cases of human rights violation. There have been a large number of political imprisonments and many people seeking asylum. We hope that the coming election, if it will happen, will be a key transition for Thailand to return to democracy.

Despite the promises to the international community on many occasions, the military regime has kept postponing the election date several times to cause confusion and frustration among the Thai people. Even if the next election as promised for 24th February does take place, it will not be a free and fair one because it will happen under the constitution which was drafted by the military regime and was approved by the vote of the Thai people through the referendum process which everyone knows was not free and fair as well.

Under the new constitution, the Parliament will consist of a 250-member nominated Senate and a 500-member House of Representatives, of whom 350 are elected from single-member constituencies and 150 members from party lists. The constitution also allows the NCPO to appoint an eight to ten person panel who will choose Senators, including six seats reserved for the heads of the Royal Thai ArmyNavyAir Force and Police, plus the military’s supreme commander and defense permanent secretary. The Senate can stage a no-confidence vote against a future elected government. The Parliament could also select a candidate who is not one of its members or even a politician as Prime Minister. That person could become Prime Minister if the appointed Senate approves. Some people suspect that with the new constitution, the military seeks to harness political parties in order to create disposable coalition governments. The military would then remain the real power, whatever the outcome of the election.

The Election Commission of Thailand is appointed and controlled by the military regime. The Commission has just announced new boundaries for the electoral constituencies which some commentators maintain favor the parties supporting a continuation of military involvement in the newly elected government. Moreover four ministers from the current military government have recently launched a new political party, amid speculation they will back Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to remain in power beyond the next election promised for February 2019.

To promote a free and fair election, we the 24th June Democracy Group strongly request you as the Delegation of the European Union to Thailand to monitor closely all the processes of the up-coming election to ensure that it will be a democratic transition for the country from the military regime to democracy.

Our requests are as follows:

Over the last few years, the proposed date for the next election has been postponed several times. At the time of writing, the promise for the next election on 24th February 2019 is still uncertain. We would like to request the EU to apply strong pressure in many areas, including economic, social and international relations, on the regime not to postpone the election date further and to organize a transparent election.

The military regime still maintains its stance of controlling the political activities of political parties and demonstrations by people (a gathering of more than five people is not allowed). The suppression of free speech and opinion still exists widely. We would like the EU to pressure the regime to revoke its orders:

1) The order no. 57/2557 regarding its stance of controlling the political activities of political parties.

2) The supreme order section no. 44.

3) The order no. 3/2558 regarding a gathering of more than five people.

4) The order no. 97/2557 and 103/2557 regarding the control of media content covering politics.

The above mentioned will lead to a non-transparent election and will allow the military junta to retain its dictatorship power through ‘democratic’ means.

We would like the EU to raise concerns to the military government on the issue of human rights violation and apply some pressure towards the result of 1) free political prisoners 2) allow asylum seekers/refugees to return to Thailand 3) dismiss existing court cases with the all pro-democracy activists.

We wish that with the co-operation between the European Union, the international community and Thai people, Thailand will return to a land of democracy again in 2019.

Thank you very much for your time for the meeting today and your kind consideration.

Sincerely Yours,

24th June  Democracy Group Representatives

Somyos Pruksakasemsuk

Saranya Kaewprasert

Miss Patrachit Chotikapanich

Kan Pongprapapan