The anniversary of Thailand’s sufficiency democracy coup is an appropriate day to launch the latest New Mandala initiative. Following the passage of the new constitution in the referendum of August 19 the regime has announced (though with some equivocation) that an election will be held on December 23. The conduct of this election will be a topic of considerable national and international interest. With martial law still in place in many parts of the country, some are questioning the possibility of a free and open electoral campaign. And, of course, the usual claims about money politics and vote buying are being served up yet again.
So, we invite New Mandala readers to submit their observations on electoral politics leading up to the national election. We are particularly interested in first hand (or informed second hand) accounts of local electoral campaigns throughout Thailand. We certainly don’t want to lose sight of the national picture but we are very keen to get some accounts of local electoral life that go beyond the usual stereotypes. We want to hear about the good and the bad of electoral politics in Thailand. Submissions in Thai are very welcome!
You can make your contributions in a number of ways. You can make comments to this or later “Election Watch” posts. If you would like to make a more substantial contribution you can contact either of us (see our contact details under NM Bloggers above) to discuss making a guest post (or a series of guest posts). Or if you prefer just to email us information we will do our best to incorporate it into a post.
We are confident that the New Mandala reader network can provide informed and diverse perspectives on the conduct of Thailand’s coming election.