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Thailand: 2007 pre-election technical assessment report of findings and recommendations: 26 April 2007.

INTRODUCTION

IFES is pleased to present this comprehensive assessment report anticipating the upcoming constitutional referendum and general election in the Kingdom of Thailand. IFES hopes that these findings and recommendations can inform efforts to strengthen the democratic process within Thailand and can provide guidance as the nation seeks to reassume its position as a model for democracy within Southeast Asia. The field work and interviews that provide the substance of this report were conducted between March 14 and April 5, 2007.

A great deal of information was collected during the course of the assessment, which reflects the openness and input of all with whom the team met. At the same time, the political situation in Thailand is dynamic, with developments occurring more quickly than can be captured fully by a written report. Given the timing of the issuance of this report vis-a-vis the release of the draft constitution by the Constitution Drafting Assembly / Committee (CDA/CDC), some facts contained herein will become outdated. Once the draft constitution is made public, IFES will prepare a legal review of the electoral provisions that will serve as a supplement to this report.

As a nonprofit, nongovernmental democracy development organization that works to give people a voice in the way they are governed, IFES has provided election stakeholders from more than 100 countries with the technical advice and tools necessary to conduct democratic elections and maintain stable, accountable election administration. Since our founding in 1987, our work has been nonpartisan and focuses on forging a sustainable democratic process though responsive institutions, informed citizens, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

The rapid-appraisal methodology used to perform diagnostic pre-election technical assessments (PETAs) has been refined over the past two decades. A PETA can provide host country stakeholders, and the international donor community, with a benchmark document to facilitate election assistance that is appropriate, coordinated and strategically oriented. IFES has conducted assessments based on this PETA methodology in nearly 70 countries, including Afghanistan, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Bangladesh. IFES' PETA reports include information about the overall electoral environment and political, economic, social, and security issues likely to affect the campaigns and elections process in the host country. They also outline both short-term action strategies and longer term, sustainable solutions.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The IFES assessment team would like to express its sincere appreciation to the Chairman and Secretary General of the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) and the commission staff who were exceedingly generous with their time and input. During the course of three weeks, IFES spent hours with nearly two dozen commission representatives. The ECT was open, forthcoming with information, and responsive to requests. The assessment team also thanks the other stakeholders with whom they met for answering what must have seemed an endless array of questions. The success of this fact-finding exercise is due to the thoughtful input of all interviewed. IFES would also like to acknowledge the support provided by the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the funding for the PETA provided by the Office of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the Department of State.
KEY TO ACRONYMS

ABAC Assumption Business Administration College
ANFREL The Asian Network for Free Elections
AUSAID Australian Agency for International Development
CDA Constitutional Drafting Assembly
CDC Constitutional Drafting Committee
CDR Council for Democratic Reform
CNS Council for National Security
ECT Election Commission of Thailand
EU European Union
GOTV Get out the Vote
ICT Ministry of Communication and Information Technology
LEC local election committee
KPI King Prajadhipok Institute
MOE Ministry of Education
MOI Ministry of Interior
MOI-RDA Ministry of Interior--Regional Development Office
MP Member of Parliament
NCCC National Counter-Corruption Commission
NGO non-governmental organization
OSCE Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
NHRC National Human Rights Commission
NLA National Legislative Assembly
PDA Population and Community Development Association
PEC provincial election commission
PETA pre-election technical assessment
PNET People's Network for Elections in Thailand
PM prime minister
PSA public service announcement
PVT parallel vote tabulation
SMS short message service
SNTV single non-transferable vote
SRI Social Research Institute
TBG tactile ballot guides
TOT training of trainers
TRT Thai Rak Thai
TVM Thai Voting Machine
UN United Nations
USAID United States Agency for International Development
COPYRIGHT 2007 IFES, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Dahl, Robert A.; Palmer, Susan; Barnes, Catherine; Thakur, Beverly Hagerdon; Kannam, Catherine
Publication:Elections Today
Geographic Code:9THAI
Date:Jul 1, 2007
Words:694
Previous Article:Frontiers of electronic voting: 29.07.07-03.08.07, seminar 07311.
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