Chairman of the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT), Mr. Supachai Somcharoen meets The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) President and CEO Bill Sweeney and Regional Director for Asia-Pacific Vasu Mohan received the delegation and provided a briefing on IFES' work around the world supporting citizens’ rights to participate in free and fair elections.
The delegation included senior officials from the ECT and Thailand’s political parties, judges, mayors, officials from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Defense, Minister of Public Health, the Royal Thai Police as well as representatives from the private sector, who are participating in the Advanced Political and Electoral Development Program (APED) organized by the ECT.
The ECT is responsible for overseeing Thailand’s August 7, 2016 referendum on the new draft constitution and discussed steps it has taken to strengthen the voting process, including measures to improve the participation of persons with disabilities and enable citizens to report problems encountered while trying to cast their vote.
IFES and ECT representatives engaged in a detailed discussion of how IFES has supported election management bodies around the world to conduct credible and inclusive elections. Empowering and protecting the rights of women to participate in the electoral process as candidates, voters and election officials was discussed in detail as was IFES support in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region, including Burma/Myanmar and Indonesia. IFES currently does not have a program in Thailand.