Foreign media focus on seven million first-time voters

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Bangkok – Sunday’s election attracted the attention of many foreign news agencies. France’s AFP reported the preparations made by the Election Commission, ranging from the sorting of ballots to security measures provided at voting units.

CNN reported the anticipation of the young first-time voters in an article entitled “Thailand’s youth demand change ahead of election,” and reported that the country currently has some seven million first-time voters aged between 18-25 years who account for 15% of all 51.2 million voters nationwide.

Singapore’s Channel News Asia commented on minor problems found by election observers, citing the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANREL) as saying some 35 persons requested to observe the election could not make it to Thailand in time as they were not given enough time to apply for visas.

Meanwhile, the European Union released a statement to say that it was not sending the Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Thailand because they did not receive an invitation within an adequate timeframe, which usually called for four to six months in advance. Instead, some EU member states have sent diplomats based in Thailand as observers at voting stations.

The United States has expressed the intention to see Thailand have a post-election government which can run the country to meet the needs of the people and return to democratic rule.