Vote-buying is a concern in Thailand’s upcoming national election, an international monitoring group that will be observing the polls said on Monday.
The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) is deploying about 60 observers nationwide for the July 3 vote, the first since Thailand’s deadliest political unrest in decades last year.
Although Thailand officially bars monitors from operating inside polling stations, ANFREL has been allowed to work in the country and this will be the group’s fourth Thai election observation mission.
‘Of course the concern is slightly increased from the previous election observation concerns,’ mission director Ichal Supriadi told a press conference in Bangkok, mentioning impartiality and vote-buying as particular worries.
‘Vote-buying in Thailand is much more advanced compared to other countries,’ he said.
ANFREL observers of the last Thai election in 2007 highlighted ‘vote buying by political parties, electoral violence, intimidation, and disputed impartiality of polling officials,’ a statement from the group said. — AFP