Thailand does not need international observers to monitor next year’s general elections, the foreign minister said on Tuesday, despite criticism from pro-democracy activists that the military government has restricted fundamental civil rights, Reuters reports. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha, who seized power in a coup in May 2014, had said in a number of occasions that the election should take place on February 24. Previous time-lines for a poll were repeatedly pushed back. Whether or not Prayuth, other military leaders and the newly formed Palang Prachart party are actually popular enough to win a significant number of seats in a free and fair election remains an open question, writes Joshua Kurlantzik for World Politics Review.