Thai elections peaceful, but gridlock continues

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Yingluck voting
Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra casting her vote

Elections in Thailand ran peacefully on February 2, with only a few isolated incidents, but many election venues were not operating especially in Bangkok and the South, and voter turnout seems to have been very low.

Voting ended at 3pm local time, but no results will be announced before February 23. Further voting is already scheduled on that day after problems with advance voting on January 26, while the ballot in some southern areas may not happen for weeks.

Voting in 13 of Bangkok’s 33 constituencies was disrupted. Thirty-seven out of 56 constituencies in the South, where opposition to the government is also strong, suffered disruption. Polling elsewhere in the country was unaffected.

A group of pro-election supporters destroyed an anti-government stage in front of the Din Daeng District Office in Bangkok after being prevented from casting their votes in the election, reports said. In Ratchathewi district, voters made their own ballot boxes and papers after the real ballot boxes and voting papers could not be delivered to polling stations in the area.

Chuvit Kamolvisit, Bangkok’s red light godfather turned politician and leader of the Rak Thailand Party, has been attacked by a man when he was on his way to vote in his home district Din Daeng. He was hit on his head but did not suffer any serious injuries.

In the North and Northeast, voting went smoothly, said Paritporn Hongthanithorn, a pro-government “red shirt” leader from Udon Thani, a government stronghold.

The usual campaign billboards, glossy posters and pre-election buzz have been noticeably absent, as were millions of voters fearful of violence or bent on rejecting a ballot bound to re-elect the political grouping orchestrated by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s billionaire brother, Thaksin Shinawatra.

The main opposition Democrat Party boycotted the poll and the Election Commission has already voiced concerns that it would result in too few legitimately elected MPs to produce a parliamentary quorum.

Meanwhile, anti-government protesters continued to block important intersections in Bangkok and carried on with their stage speeches. A rally by forced most polling stations in Ratchathewi, Din Daeng and Laksi districts to close. Some stations in Bang Kapi and Bung Kum districts were also closed as no officials showed up to man them.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra casting her vote

Elections in Thailand ran peacefully on February 2, with only a few isolated incidents, but many election venues were not operating especially in Bangkok and the South, and voter turnout seems to have been very low.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Yingluck voting
Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra casting her vote

Elections in Thailand ran peacefully on February 2, with only a few isolated incidents, but many election venues were not operating especially in Bangkok and the South, and voter turnout seems to have been very low.

Voting ended at 3pm local time, but no results will be announced before February 23. Further voting is already scheduled on that day after problems with advance voting on January 26, while the ballot in some southern areas may not happen for weeks.

Voting in 13 of Bangkok’s 33 constituencies was disrupted. Thirty-seven out of 56 constituencies in the South, where opposition to the government is also strong, suffered disruption. Polling elsewhere in the country was unaffected.

A group of pro-election supporters destroyed an anti-government stage in front of the Din Daeng District Office in Bangkok after being prevented from casting their votes in the election, reports said. In Ratchathewi district, voters made their own ballot boxes and papers after the real ballot boxes and voting papers could not be delivered to polling stations in the area.

Chuvit Kamolvisit, Bangkok’s red light godfather turned politician and leader of the Rak Thailand Party, has been attacked by a man when he was on his way to vote in his home district Din Daeng. He was hit on his head but did not suffer any serious injuries.

In the North and Northeast, voting went smoothly, said Paritporn Hongthanithorn, a pro-government “red shirt” leader from Udon Thani, a government stronghold.

The usual campaign billboards, glossy posters and pre-election buzz have been noticeably absent, as were millions of voters fearful of violence or bent on rejecting a ballot bound to re-elect the political grouping orchestrated by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s billionaire brother, Thaksin Shinawatra.

The main opposition Democrat Party boycotted the poll and the Election Commission has already voiced concerns that it would result in too few legitimately elected MPs to produce a parliamentary quorum.

Meanwhile, anti-government protesters continued to block important intersections in Bangkok and carried on with their stage speeches. A rally by forced most polling stations in Ratchathewi, Din Daeng and Laksi districts to close. Some stations in Bang Kapi and Bung Kum districts were also closed as no officials showed up to man them.

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