The Asian Network for Free Elections, being the only accredited international election observation group for Thailand’s 2019 General Election, held a panel discussion in Bangkok on 21 June 2019 to present its final International Election Observation Mission (IEOM) report.
In its report, “ANFREL found the 2019 Thai General Election lacking the most important element that makes elections democratic: a healthy political climate. Although the election was peaceful and without obstruction, its legitimacy is questionable”, said its executive director, Chandanie Watawala. In part, this was because the Thai people were denied access to information that is so vital in any electoral process.
The final mission report of ANFREL’s IEOM emphasized that the election operated in a legal environment designed to prop up the ruling establishment while severely curtailing press freedom and the right to freedom of expression. Freedom of expression for individuals and the media in the lead up to the 2019 Thai general election was more controlled and restricted than during the 2011 general election.
The report was based on the findings gathered by its observers during the entire election period, including election preparation, election day processes, and electoral dispute resolution mechanisms. ANFREL’s assessment is the product of a comprehensive methodology based on international standards and best practices for elections. The mission was composed of 58 international election observers, including two electoral analysts.
Read full report by clicking on the link below:
Thai 2019 General Election: A Missed Opportunity for Democracy