News / Asia

Candidate Registration for Thai Polls Proceeds

Photographs of Poowanida Kunpalin from the ruling Puea Thai Party are seen as her documents are inspected during a registration of election candidates near the Government complex in Bangkok, Thailand, Dec. 28, 2013. Photographs of Poowanida Kunpalin from the ruling Puea Thai Party are seen as her documents are inspected during a registration of election candidates near the Government complex in Bangkok, Thailand, Dec. 28, 2013.
x
Photographs of Poowanida Kunpalin from the ruling Puea Thai Party are seen as her documents are inspected during a registration of election candidates near the Government complex in Bangkok, Thailand, Dec. 28, 2013.
Photographs of Poowanida Kunpalin from the ruling Puea Thai Party are seen as her documents are inspected during a registration of election candidates near the Government complex in Bangkok, Thailand, Dec. 28, 2013.
Ron Corben
Thailand took another step toward February 2 general elections with candidates able to register Saturday and Sunday in most provincial regions. Anti-government protesters disrupted registration in seven largely southern regions. Pre-election tensions remain high after a guard at a protest site in the capital was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Thailand's Election Commission said registration of candidates largely proceeded peacefully.

Commissioners said protesters prevented candidate registration in seven provinces, largely in southern areas that are strongholds of the opposition Democrat Party, which is boycotting the polls.

In Bangkok, where clashes between police and protestors Thursday left to two dead and more than 160 injured, a drive-by shooting at an anti-government protest site Saturday killed one man and wounded several.

Thai anti-government protesters mourn in front of the picture of Yuthana Ong-art, who was shot and killed on Friday night, during a condolence ceremony in Bangkok, Dec. 28, 2013.Thai anti-government protesters mourn in front of the picture of Yuthana Ong-art, who was shot and killed on Friday night, during a condolence ceremony in Bangkok, Dec. 28, 2013.
x
Thai anti-government protesters mourn in front of the picture of Yuthana Ong-art, who was shot and killed on Friday night, during a condolence ceremony in Bangkok, Dec. 28, 2013.
Thai anti-government protesters mourn in front of the picture of Yuthana Ong-art, who was shot and killed on Friday night, during a condolence ceremony in Bangkok, Dec. 28, 2013.
Nititorn Lamlhuea, an adviser to a student-led network protesting the poll, said the 26-year-old man killed in the shooting was a volunteer guard at the site.
 
Nititorn said two vehicles came close to the protest site at about 3.30 am on Saturday and gunmen from one vehicle fired randomly in the direction of the camp. Several were wounded and Yutthana was one of those shot with an automatic rifle. He died later in hospital.

On Sunday afternoon, in another attack, a small explosive device was thrown into the protest area and five people were injured.

The Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand was involved in the clash with police at an election registration venue in central Bangkok Thursday, the worst political violence since 2010.

After Thursday's violence, the Election Commission called on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to postpone the vote. Yingluck has said the February vote is a way for the country to move forward from the political crisis. On Sunday the Civil Service Association of Thailand said it supported calls for the election to be delayed and reforms to be implemented before fresh polls.

Student advisor Nititorn said the protest movement feared more conflict if the election proceeded.

Nititorn said the movement supported the electoral process but the country was not yet ready and wanted to see change beneficial for the people with more involvement with less corruption and reforms.

Yingluck said political reforms could be carried out after the elections and has announced a commission to make recommendations on political and economic changes.

But a protester at the Ratchdamneon rally site Sunday said the early poll would only benefit the governing Pheu Thai Party. 

"[The Government] tries to postpone everything and go to the election. That election is not pure [corruption free], it's not good for all the people in the country, it's just good for them, for the government, for the Pheu Thai Party only for the Thaksin Shinawatra. That's it that’s what [Yingluck] wants to do now," he said.

Thaksin is the prime minister's older brother, and has lived in exile since 2008 to avoid a a two-year jail term for corruption. The recent protests started after the government passed an amnesty bill in October seen as favoring Thaksin. The bill was later quashed by the Senate.

Protest leaders are threatening to "seize" Bangkok after the New Year holidays in a bid to halt the election. Government supporters are also threatening to rally. The Thai Army says it will intervene if further bloodshed is beyond control of the police.

  • Thai anti government protesters rally next to riot policemen during the registration of constituency candidates in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Dec. 28, 2013.
  • Riot policemen walk around during a registration of election candidates at a bus terminal centre near the Government complex in Bangkok.
  • Photographs of Poowanida Kunpalin from the ruling Puea Thai Party are seen as her documents are inspected during a registration of election candidates at a bus terminal centre near the Government complex in Bangkok.
  • Election commission officers and candidates gather during a registration of election candidates near the Government complex in Bangkok.
  • A Thai anti-government protester cries and takes picture during a condolence ceremony for Yuthana Ong-art, who was shot and killed on Friday night, in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Thai anti-government protesters mourn in front of the picture of Yuthana Ong-art, who was shot and killed on Friday night, during a condolence ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Thai anti-government protesters chat outside a makeshift camp where their colleagues were shot outside the prime minister's office of Government House in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Thai anti-government protester washes his face at a protest site outside the Government House in Bangkok.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid