Thailand’s Military-Appointed Senators Must Vote Responsibly on Second PM Vote on 19 July — BERSIH

Press Release
14 July 2023

BERSIH expresses our deep concern and disappointment that Mr Pita Limjaroenrat, whose coalition parties received more than 60% of party-list votes, is blocked by military-appointed Senators from becoming Prime Minister in the first vote.

Such affront to the voice of the Thai people is irresponsible and is destabilising Thailand, with widereaching ramifications on Thai economy and even regional stability.

We urge the powerful unelected institutions in Thailand to end this political crisis and enable national reconciliation by voting in Mr Limjaroenrat on the second vote on 19 July. Unelected senators must not challenge the Thai electorate and cause widespread unrest.

All orchestrated maneuvers to deny Mr Limjaroenrat's mandate - including last-minute legal challenges which could yet disqualify him – will raise significant questions about the viability of peaceful political process in Thailand.

As an organization dedicated to promoting clean and fair elections, we closely monitor electoral processes around the world and stand in solidarity for the democratic rights of citizens.

A healthy democracy relies on the principles of representation and the will of the people. The fact that a candidate who enjoyed the majority of support from the electorate was not chosen as the Prime Minister threatens the legitimacy of not just the next Thai Government, but even that of the Thai political system.

Constitutional monarchies are strong in Northwestern Europe and Japan though they do not have lese majeste laws, simply because parliamentary democracy is not crippled by any unelected institution. Democracy is what prevents republicanism, the removal of monarchy.

It is essential that the will of the people are respected and reflected in the election results, as it forms the foundation of a democratic society and the basis for political stability and social order.

We believe that every citizen's voice matters, and it is crucial to maintain trust and confidence in the political system.

Therefore, we urge Thailand’s senators and members of parliament to act wisely and responsibly on 19 July for the greater good of all sides including powerful unelected institutions.

Released by:
Bersih International Bureau (BIB)

First published on Bersih's website on 14 July 2023.


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