MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Thailand
4.2.2014 - (2014/2551(RSP))
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure
Phil Bennion, Marietje Schaake, Louis Michel, Leonidas Donskis, Marielle de Sarnez, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Angelika Werthmann, Sarah Ludford, Hannu Takkula, Robert Rochefort, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff on behalf of the ALDE Group
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0122/2014
European Parliament resolution on the situation in Thailand
The European Parliament,
- having regard to its previous resolutions on Thailand.
- having regard to the statements by the Spokesperson of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton of 26 November 2013 on the political situation in Thailand, of 13 December 2013 and of 23 January 2014 on the recent events in Thailand,
- having regard to the statement issued by the European Union Delegation in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Thailand of 2 December 2013,
- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,
- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966,
- having regard to the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials of 1990,
- having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas on 15 November 2013, Thailand's senate began a second reading of a flashpoint political amnesty bill that could pave the way for the return of the exiled former leader Thaksin Shinwatra;
B. whereas on 20 November 2013, the Constitutional Court rejected a proposed amendment to the Constitution transforming the Senate in a fully elected body and also rejected an opposition petition to dissolve the Pheu Thai Party, which led to violent protests;
C. whereas the Thai Government declared a 60-day state of emergency in the capital Bangkok and surrounding provinces, which came into effect on 22 January 2014;
D. whereas after a failed motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on 28 November 2013 the protests continue;
E. whereas general elections took place in Thailand on 2 February 2014 and voting started on 26 January 2014; whereas the Constitutional Court ruled on 24 January 2014 that elections could be postponed; whereas following a meeting with the Election Commission on 28 January 2014 the Prime Minister confirmed that the elections would take place on 2 February 2014;
F. Whereas the main opposition party, the Democrat Party announced that it was pulling out of the elections scheduled for 2 February 2014, in protest against the entrenched corruption within the government of Yingluck Shinawatra.
G. Whereas a gun battle between rival party supporters left nine people injured on the eve of the election in the northern Bangkok suburb Lak Si.
H. Whereas no voting took place in nine provinces, including the beach resorts of Phuket and Krabi.
1. Regrets the decision of the Government of Thailand to go ahead with elections given the current situation, in particular given determined opposition to the elections from Thailand’s electoral commission.
2. Regrets that, according to media reports, some Thai citizens eligible to vote may have prevented from doing so.
3. Urges the Government, the Electoral Commission and the opposition to work closely together in order to negotiate a package of constitutional reform, to be approved with a national referendum and followed by inclusive, secure, free and fair elections;
4. Believes the Constitution should be further revised to reflect lessons learned from former Prime Minister's Thaksin Shinawatra's manipulation of politics, to reinforce the Rule of Law and put into place checks and balances in order to turn the tide of Thai history away from corruption and dictatorship.
5. Expresses deep concern about the violent conflict between demonstrators and security forces in Thailand, which poses a threat to democracy in the country, and expresses its solidarity with the Thai people and all families who have suffered the loss of loved ones during the past weeks;
6. Calls on all parties to respect the rule of law and to abide by democratic principles;
7. Asks the Thai Government to reconsider its decision to detain former deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban;
8. Appeals to all concerned to avoid escalation, to show the utmost self-restraint, to halt political violence and to resolve differences through peaceful means;
9. Recalls that the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials provide that authorities must, as far as possible, apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms and, whenever the lawful use of force and firearms is unavoidable, must use restraint and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offence;
10. Welcomes the National Human Rights Commission's calling of a consultative meeting of intellectuals, representatives of social movements, religious leaders and the four former Prime Minsters Anand Panyarachun, Banharn Silapa-acha, Chavalit Yongchaiyudh and Chuan Leekpai to look for and put forward a solution to end this crisis;
11. Regrets the Government of Thailand has made little progress over the past year in resolving persistent human rights problems in the country.
12. Condemns the continued detention and human rights violations of Rohingya muslims in Thailand and calls for urgent action by the Government of Thailand to break up the networks of human traffickers preying on Rohingya currently acting with impunity.
13. Stresses its will to support democracy in Thailand, taking into consideration the excellent nature of EU-Thai relations, and Thailand's role as a source of prosperity and stability in the region;
14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government and Parliament of Thailand, the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.