JAKARTA – British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Wednesday urged Thailand’s Government and Military to uphold democracy as political violence escalated ahead of an election.
“It’s important that constitutional democracy is upheld,” Mr. Hague said in Jakarta after talks with his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa.
“This is a matter for the people of Thailand, but I hope their political leaders will find a way forward,” he said.
Opponents of Thailand’s caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra have staged protests since early November to demand her resignation.
Ten people have been killed and more than 570 injured in politically related violence.
Protesters have occupied several key intersections in Bangkok since January 13 in an attempt to scuttle an election scheduled for Sunday.
Earlier in the week the US Sate Department said it was deeply troubled by efforts to block polls and otherwise prevent voting and democracy in Thailand, and by the most recent acts of political violence. While we do not take sides in the political dispute and strongly support freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest, preventing citizens from voting violates their universal rights and is inconsistent with democratic values.
We reiterate our call for all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and commit to sincere dialogue to resolve political differences peacefully and democratically