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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Vote NO in the election

It is still possible that many voters don’t want to vote none of available parties and candidates. Thailand gives a chance for its people to vote none of the contesting parties or the candidates.     This is legal because it is facilitated by the Thai Electoral Law. The implementation: there is a special column for Vote No on the ballot paper.

The sample of ballot paper in the last parliamentary election. The box below right showed by the pink arrow is the box to sign VOTE NO. 

The campaign of Vote NO promoted by Phue Pha Din party (No. 18). They promote Vote NO, because PPD was not happy with Abhisit’s leadership especially in the case of Cambodia-Thailand’s border dispute. They utilize the option “no vote” on the ballot paper and they promote based on their belief that all politicians are corrupt and none of them deserve the people’s vote. They believed that a caretaker government should be appointed for several years while the system is ‘cleansed’ of greed and corruption.

This is paradox. The party should campaign and provoke the followers to choose it and its candidates, as party should do. But on the other hand, this party recommend, campaign and provoke people to vote NO. Two candidates from this party explained, only party can campaign something, include Vote NO.

In the temporary counting, the number of voters is just a small percentage compared the turn out of voters. It means, many Thais still trusted the election.

Indonesia had a group called ‘golongan putih (Golput)’ or ‘white group’. They were some people who denied election and did not come to polling site to cast vote. In Soeharto’s time, Golput was a forbidden group. At that time, participation in election was a mandatory. If people did not go to the polling site, especially in a big number, the military would come and interrogate them.

The current Golput in Indonesia vary from people who deny election because of political and now religious reasons, ignore and don’t care the election and the groups who confused who they vote. The number of general golput in Indonesia reached 40% of voters.     

Note :
  1. The author of this article is the International Election Observer in some countries in Asia, include Thailand Parliamentary Election, 3rd July 2011, acted as Long Term Observer.
  2. She is the Head of Foreign Affairs in KIPP Indonesia (Komite Independen Pemantau Pemilu) or Independent Committee for Election Monitoring. Member of KIPP Indonesia since 1998.   
  3. This article is also published in The Global Review.

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