Thailand blasts EU request to send observers to poll

Agence France-Presse

BANGKOK – Thailand on Wednesday blasted a request by the European Union to send observers to the nation's post-coup elections in December, saying the kingdom was “not a failed state.”

Foreign Minister Nitya Pibulsonggram said it was “unacceptable” that the EU had asked Thai electoral officials for permission to send up to 500 observers to the polls on December 23.

“We in Thailand have a track record across history. We are not a failed state or on any watch list,” he said.

“We are mature. We can solve our own problems,” he said. “I don't think we need anybody to teach us how to vote.”

The junta that toppled prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra last year has promised the elections will restore democracy. The coup was the 18th in Thailand since the end of absolute monarchy 75 years ago.

Thailand's army-installed Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said the EU request had already been rejected.

“I have already consulted with the chairman of the Election Commission, and he said the memorandum of understanding (with EU observers) would amount to giving them control of the election. He has rejected the request,” Surayud told reporters.

“No one should supersede our officials,” he said.

Meechai Ruchuphan, president of the military-installed parliament, accused the EU of trying to interfere in Thai politics.

“If the EU holds an election, can we ask them to sign a memorandum of understanding and allow us to verify their election? The EU is not the UN,” he told reporters.



The list countries are governed by Junta and currently under military rule

* Fiji – since the 2006 Fijian coup d'état; see also 1987 Fijian coups d'état and 2000 Fijian coup d'état
* Thailand – since the 2006 Thai coup d'état
* Pakistan – since the 1999 Pakistani coup d'état resulted in Pervez Musharraf seizing power
* Libya – since the 1969 Libyan coup d'état resulted in Muammar al-Gaddafi seizing power
* Myanmar (Burma) – since the 1962 Burmese coup d'état resulted in Ne Win seizing power; currently the Tatmadaw (armed forces) still leads under the auspices of the State Peace and Development Council