Call to give monks the right to vote

Civil rights activists have pressed for a change in the law to give monks, nuns and other religious practitioners the right to vote.

  • Published: 21/06/2013 at 05:13 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

Sriprapa Petchmeesri, director of Mahidol University's Office of Human Rights Studies and Social Development, said the current law goes against international norms.

"The Thai constitution prevents religious figures from casting votes despite the right to vote being recognised internationally as a fundamental human right," she said.

National Human Rights Commissioner Nirand Phitakwatchara supported the call, saying that everyone should be entitled to the right to vote. As a democratic country, Thailand should have regulations to protect its citizens' basic rights, Dr Niran added.

A clause in Section 100 of the constitution states that a Buddhist priest, novice, monk, novice and clergy is prohibited from voting.

Senator Paiboon Nittitawan agreed that the clause should be amended in order so that religious figures could exercise voting rights.

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