EU urges a free and peaceful vote

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, has issued a statement opposing the increasing violence in the lead up to the Feb 2 general election, saying all Thais should be free to vote as well as hold peaceful protests.

In her statement released on Thursday, Ms Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, urged all to engage in political dialogue to resolve differences, to respect the democratic process and uphold the rule of law. 

“The High Representative is concerned by any actions that undermine Thailand's democratic framework: the Thai people should be as free to exercise their democratic right to vote as to express their right to peaceful protest,”: Ms Ashton said.  

She warned Thailand to avoid letting the situation deteriorate and called on all stakeholders to show the utmost restraint.

"Thailand's future is the shared responsibility of all parties. Only a real dialogue between the authorities and the opposition aimed at finding a lasting political solution based on democratic principles within the constitutional framework offers a way forward," she said. 

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