Election Code of Conduct Signed : Thailand

Pledge by political parties not to engage in violence, and respect results

Today representatives from 19 political parties signed a code of conduct for the election campaign, pledging themselves to a set of principles for a free and fair election.

This code of conduct is an important sign of cooperation between political parties. It will help make this a more credible election and will minimise the risk of violence. Last nights attack on Pracha Prasopdee could be an indication of such a threat, said Dr. Gothom Arya of Mahidol University, who led the civil society group that facilitated the code of conduct.

At a ceremony in Parliament this morning the parties pledged to: conduct the campaign peacefully and not use inflammatory language that incites violence, refrain from involving the institution of monarchy, not abuse state resources, and accept the results of a credible election. The Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) was requested by political parties to conduct their duties fairly.

At todays ceremony, Mr. Uthai Pimchaichon, former Speaker of the National Assembly, gave the keynote speech and encouraged politicians at the ceremony to strictly follow the code. This code of conduct is very valuable, he said.

The ECTs Secretary-General Mr. Suthipon Thaveechaiyagarn signed the code of conduct as a witness. He expressed the Election Commissions support for the initiative and said: Differences of opinion dont necessarily need to divide the country. The code of conduct and todays ceremony supports our work of administering the election.

Political parties have agreed to appoint representatives to a Coordinating Committee on the Compliance with the Code of Conduct so that the agreement is monitored and properly implemented.

The code of conduct was facilitated by a number of civil society groups: Mahidol Universitys Research Center for Peacebuilding, the Open Forum for Democracy Foundation, and the Political Development Council.

Code of Conduct for the General Election Campaign in 2011

We, the political parties undersigned, declare that we will commit to and comply with this Code of Conduct for the General Election Campaign. We will also exercise control over all of our candidates, members, as well as supporters and campaigners to strictly commit to and comply with this Code of Conduct which abides us to:

1. Respect and follow the letter and spirit of the Constitution, election laws, and regulations issued by the Election Commission of Thailand.

2. Refrain from relating the Royal Institution to election

3. Refrain from any vote buying, and from the use of state or other public resources for campaign purposes or to obtain votes.

  1. Conduct the campaign using only peaceful means, not to threaten, harass, and disrupt the campaign efforts of any other party.

4. Avoid using inflammatory or defamatory language, particularly that which threatens or incites violence.

  1. Accept the results of the election that generally reflects the will of the people and which is credible and fair.

The Election Commission of Thailand and its officials at all levels are hereby requested to conduct their duties with integrity and fairness, as well as to prevent any irregularities and to process complaints in a timely manner.

In order to have a coordinating and monitoring mechanism on the compliance, the undersigned political parties are ready to appoint their representatives to be in the Coordinating Committee on the Compliance with the Code of Conduct. The coordinating committee is tasked with coordinating and solving any conflicting issues, and to provide suggestions to ensure the implementation of the Code of Conduct is complied with in letter and spirit.

For further information contact Dr. Gothom Arya on 081 828 0916.

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