UN chief calls for credible, peaceful Thai polls
AFP—BANGKOK - UN Chief Ban Ki Moon called on Thursday for the upcoming crucial election in Thailand to be conducted peacefully and in a ‘fair, credible and transparent’ way.
UN Secretary General Ban urged all parties to refrain from violence before, during and after the July 3 poll and ‘to accept and respect the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box,’ his spokesman said in a statement.
Amid fears the vote could bring unrest, more than 430 candidates have sought protection, according to police, and more than 170,000 police officers are due to be deployed to protect polling stations on voting day.
The ruling Democrat party, led by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, is locked in a tough battle with the main opposition party Puea Thai, led by the sister of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a coup in 2006.
The country has since suffered from deep political divisions and a series of street protests by rival groups.
Mr Ban ‘expects the elections will be conducted peacefully and in a fair, credible and transparent manner so as to contribute to reconciliation and the consolidation of democratic norms in the country,’ his spokesman said.