Thailand: Legal measures concerning the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in the election under the Organic Act on the Election of Members of Parliament B.E. 2561 (2018)

Full Research (Thai): วิจัยกฎหมาย_ฉบับสมบูรณ์_
Executive Summary (English): Executive Summary
Joint Statement by ANFREL and PWD Network in Thailand: Joint Statement_ANFREL_PWD Network.2 Aug.2019

Abstract

The election is one of the most critical procedures that undergird the foundation of liberal democracy as it enables citizens to express their collective political wills by electing their representatives according to the rules laid out in the Constitution and other relevant laws. However, the election must be held under certain core principles; for instance, the State must ensure that every citizen can exercise their right to participate in the election on an equal footing. Furthermore, the State needs to undertake all the necessary legal measures to support the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in the election and eliminate limitations posed by their citizens’ disabilities that may prevent them from the full enjoyment of this right.

This research finds that the existing legal framework under the Organic Act on the Election of Members of Parliament B.E. 2561 (2018) already, to a certain extent, guarantee the State’s obligation to ensure accommodation and assistance for persons with disabilities to vote. However, to ensure the full realization of their right, the State must undertake additional measures as per international human rights standards laid out in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which Thailand has ratified. That is to say, Thailand must protect and fulfill their rights of persons with disabilities to participate in the election at all stages including before, during, and after the election. However, this research shows that the Organic Act on the Election of Members of Parliament B.E. 2561 (2018) does not contain any provisions that extend the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities during the pre-election and post-election period; it only focuses on their voting rights on the election date. Moreover, the existing provisions also encounter several problems and challenges in its implementation in the form of direct and indirect discrimination which prevents persons with disabilities from enjoying their rights. Therefore, this research aims to explore possible solutions that may help Thailand achieve the full realization of the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in the election as per international standards laid out in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Keywords: Persons with Disabilities, Right to Participate in the Election, Voting

Share:

GET CONNECTED

Get Updates

Members