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Thailand Politics Sept 5

Sept 6, 2007
EU Thailand discuss Poll watching
The tension between Thai authorities and the European Union eased somewhat following Thursday’s discussion on an EU proposal to send in observers ahead of the December 23 elections.

Portugese Ambassador to Thailand Antionio Felix Machado de Faria e Maya and EU Ambassador to Thailand Friedrich Hamburger said after the discussion that the EU fully respected Thailand’s sovereignty and “had no intention of interfering with its electoral process.”

An EU request to send in between 60-150 observers was met with scorn by government officials with Finance Minister Nitya Pibulsonggram calling it “unacceptable” and Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont comparing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EU as equivalent to “giving in to international control.”

Although there were no concrete developments at the end of today’s meeting, the EU did stress that it would wait another two months to allow the Thai government to “reconsider the signing of a MoU”.

“Whatever the Thai government decides will not have an impact on the EU’s relationship with Thailand,” he said.

The EU however insisted that a signed agreement is necessary. "There is a need for a set of rules to establish the rights and obligations of each party," Faria e Maya said.

The EU representative also denied claims that ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra had doctored the EU proposal.  Bangkok post reports

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