25 Political Parties Sign Clean Campaign Pledge

Sudarat Keyuraphan campaigns for Pheu Thai Party on Dec. 8, 2018, in Bangkok's Bang Kapi district.

BANGKOK — Twenty-five political parties including Pheu Thai, Democrat, Future Forward and Chart Thai pledged Friday to compete fairly in the general election now slated for February.

They agreed to not buy votes, oppose using state resources to support their campaigns, avoid inflammatory and defamatory language and not disturb other parties’ campaigns, among a slew of pre- and post-election promises.

The pledge was also signed this morning by the Bhumjaithai and Commoner parties.

Bordin Saisaeng, a Mahidol University employee who organized the pledge, said that the pro-junta Palang Pracharat Party did not accept the invitation.

After the election, the 25 parties also pledged to honor the principle that the next coalition government should get the support of more over half of the House of Representatives.

That had been the norm but the new junta-backed constitution changed the threshold.

They all also vowed to seek transitional justice for those affected by actions perpetrated by the state and bring about reconciliation.

Additionally, they agreed to “support and speed up the peace dialogue process” in the Deep South under the framework of the constitution as well decentralizing more political power to local communities.

The organizations involved in pushing for the pledge include Mahidol University’s Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies, and Poll Watch, a group of volunteer election observers.