THAILAND

US warns against military coup in Thailand, voices fears over tensions

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 February, 2014, 3:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 February, 2014, 4:39am

The United States has warned against any moves to stage a military coup in Thailand and said it was "concerned that political tensions" are challenging the nation's democracy.

"We certainly do not want to see a coup or violence ... in any case of course. We are speaking directly to all elements in Thai society to make clear the importance of using democratic and constitutional means to resolve political differences," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said after anti-government protesters tried to disrupt Sunday's election.

While there had been "peaceful and orderly polling" in most areas "there were also disturbing incidents of violence on the eve of the election", as well as efforts to block voters getting to the polls, she said.

"We remain concerned that political tensions in Thailand are posing challenges to the democratic institutions and processes of Thailand," Psaki said. "We certainly don't take sides ... but we continue to urge all sides to commit to sincere dialogue to resolve political differences peacefully and democratically."

Millions were denied the opportunity to vote, with blockades by protesters seeking to prevent the re-election of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra closing 10 per cent of polling stations.

Video: Thai protesters vow no let up after disrupting poll