US calls for end to violence following election disruptions


BANGKOK, 27 January 2014 The U.S. State Department issued a statement on Sunday saying it was deeply troubled by efforts to block polls and otherwise prevent voting in Thailand. 

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement that while the US does not take sides in the political dispute and strongly supports freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest, it deems the PDRC’s action preventing citizens from voting violates their universal rights and is inconsistent with democratic values.

They reiterate their call for all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and commit to sincere dialogue to resolve differences peacefully and democratically.

Anti-government protesters disrupted most voting in Bangkok on Sunday, raising tensions for the week ahead. The Election Commission said 440,000 people were unable to cast advance votes as 89 of the 375 constituencies nationally were closed.