UN: Upcoming Thai polls should be free, fair and peaceful

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today he is closely following the situation in Thailand ahead of this Sunday’s national elections and hopes the polls will be credible and free from violence.

“He expects the elections will be conducted peacefully and in a fair, credible and transparent manner so as to contribute to reconciliation and the consolidation of democratic norms in the country,” according to a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

“He urges all parties to refrain from violence before, during and after the elections and to accept and respect the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box,” the statement added.

The opposition candidates who will face off against incumbent Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva include Yingluck Shinawatra, whose older brother, the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was ousted in a military coup in 2006.