Overview Open Forum for Democracy Foundation (PNET) is a non-governmental organization, focused on strengthening local networking in Thailand on democracy and electoral processes. It is politically independent and non-partisan in all its activities and is also one of the founders of the regional electoral observation network – the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL).
History PollWatch as an independent election monitoring organization in Thailand had been established since 1992 for clean, fair and credible elections. In the first phase of operation it was run under government budget and supported by the Interim Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun. The organization had engaged in every general and by-election and later registered as a permanent body called ‘Open Forum for Democracy Foundation from 1993.
After the reform and so-called People’s Constitution was promulgated in October 1997, Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) has been established to handle elections replacing the role of the Min. of Interior. To fulfil the mission of organising a clean and fair elections, within the new electoral system private organisations also have a role to play. As the 1997 constitution provides that the ECT can entrust private agencies with duties such as providing political education to the people, and supervising and ensuring the integrity of the electoral process.
Regional Corporation Open Forum for Democracy Foundation (its generic name) and the People’s Network for Election in Thailand (PNET) exist separately by name, PNET is a creation of Open Forum as a network of local private organisations. In other words, P-NET is the operating network of the Foundation. While the foundation and PNET are independent from the ECT, the Provincial Private Organization Co-ordinating Centre is the people wing of the ECT. This is the co-ordinating centre for local private organisations accredited by the ECT to operate at the provincial and constituency levels.
Open Forum for Democracy Foundation was the founding member of The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL). ANFREL was established in 1997, as Asia’s first regional network of civil society organisations focused on elections and election monitoring. It strives to promote and support democratisation at national and regional levels in Asia. Since it was founded, it has served towards strengthening the democratisation of countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, East Timor and Indonesia. ANFREL is supported by a number of national organisations from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste and Thailand.
From 1997 onwards until today, ANFREL, has also been active in contributing its efforts to capacity building of member and non-member organisations on issues related to election observation, voter/civic education, electoral reform and public awareness for good democratic governance
Open Forum for Democracy Foundation Ban Manangkhasila 514 Larn Luang Road Dusit Bangkok Thailand 10300 Web site: pnetforum.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/pnetforum/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org