News / Asia

Anti-Government Protesters Dismiss Thailand Elections

Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban collects donation from supporters during a march through Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 3, 2014.
Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban collects donation from supporters during a march through Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 3, 2014.
VOA News
Anti-government protesters in Thailand marched through the streets of Bangkok Monday, vowing to continue their demonstrations following snap elections.

The protesters consolidated some of their camps in the streets of the capital, as their numbers decreased in the wake of Sunday's vote.

The demonstrators obstructed voting on Sunday by blocking the distribution of ballots and preventing people from entering polling stations in scores of constituencies. They say they will continue their efforts to topple the caretaker government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The government has said it will hold a second round of polls for about 10 percent of people who were not able to vote. However, the Election Commission said Monday it cannot schedule a make-up election until the protests end.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman Monday expressed regret that many Thais were not able to vote, but said the United States will not take sides in the political dispute.

"We remain concerned that political tensions in Thailand are posing challenges to the democratic institutions and processes of Thailand. We certainly don't take sides, as you know, in Thailand's political disputes. But we continue to urge all sides to commit to sincere dialogue."

The main opposition Democrat Party boycotted Sunday's elections.

Results from the vote are not expected for weeks, with the winning party unable to form a new government until polls are held in the disrupted districts.

Protests and violence erupted three months ago, when the prime minister sought to grant amnesty to her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

  • Soldiers hold their shields as officials leave a government office where Prime Minster Yingluck Shinawatra had been holding a meeting as anti-government protesters gather outside in Bangkok, Feb. 3, 2014.
  • An anti-government protester carrying a national flag, a guitar and a "No Vote" sign follows others moving from one protest camp to another in Bangkok Feb. 3, 2014.
  • Voters hold their identification cards and the chains that held the gate of the polling station closed, as they demand the right to vote during general elections in Bangkok, Feb. 2, 2014.
  • Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban waves to supporters during a march through Bangkok, Feb. 3, 2014.
  • Thai Prime Minister and Pheu Thai party leader Yingluck Shinawatra poses before casting her ballot in Bangkok, Feb. 2, 2014.
  • Thai soldiers pose with their identity cards as they wait in a line to vote at a polling station in Bangkok, Feb. 2, 2014.
  • Empty ballot boxes are shown before voting in Bangkok, Feb. 2, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters check voting ballots they seized to disrupt elections before handing the papers back to officials after the general election in Hat Yai district, Songkhla province, southern Thailand, Feb. 2, 2014.

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