RIP Votes: Thai Expats Hold Ballot Funeral in Kiwiland

Black wreaths were hung outside the Thai embassy in New Zealand’s capital yesterday not to mourn any loss of life but rather the votes of Thai expats.

Black wreaths were hung outside the Thai embassy in New Zealand’s capital yesterday not to mourn any loss of life but rather the votes of Thai expats.

“RIP: 1,542 votes” and “Mourning the [Election Commission]” were among messages displayed at about noon Kiwi time by Thai citizens protesting the decision to invalidate all 1,542 ballots cast in the March 24 general election.

“Thais and Kiwis who love democracy and fairness are unhappy about the results of the most corrupt election in Thai history,” wrote pro-democracy citizen journalist Sa-nguan Khumrungroj, who shared the photos originally posted Monday by Facebook user Num Ayase.

The protesters submitted a letter of complaint about their lost votes to embassy staff in the wake of accusations of fraud and malfeasance against the Election Commission following that has been decried by the Asian Network for Free Elections as “deeply flawed.”

The commission is a nominally independent agency that holds the sole responsibility of managing the kingdom’s elections and referendums. It’s been faulted for mismanaging the poll, squandering resources and tilting the playing field in favor of pro-establishment parties.

Though overseas voters cast absentee ballots one week before polls opened back home, their votes were voided by the commission, which said they hadn’t arrived in time to be counted. After Thai Airways International’s president said they had in fact arrived in time, officials shifted blame to a slow logistics operation and time-consuming security procedures.

Nevertheless, Thai netizens around the globe were unhappy about the voided votes.

So much so that, since the election, the commission has become a popular punching bag on social media, where #ElectionCommissionExposed, #ElectionFraud2019, and #ECDoentHaveACalculator have reigned as top-trending hashtags.

An online petition for the removal of all current commissioners has so far gained more than 830,000 backers.

Though the unofficial vote tallies have swung up and down, final results won’t be released until May 9.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.