News / Asia

Thailand Plans Second Round of Voting

  • 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.

Elections in Thailand

Ron Corben
— Electoral officials in Thailand say they cannot schedule further voting in the nation's tense national election until protests that hampered the polling ends. Anti-government protesters disrupted voting Sunday and have vowed to continue mass street demonstrations to topple the caretaker government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. 

Unofficial figures indicate about 45 percent of eligible voters participated in Sunday’s vote. If confirmed, it would be a sharp drop from the 75 percent who voted in 2011 elections.
 
While many voters stayed away from the polls, others in parts of Bangkok and southern Thailand were unable to vote because protesters prevented ballots from being delivered.

Second round

The caretaker government has said it will hold a second round of polls for people who were not able to vote Sunday.
 
But Thailand's senior election commissioner Somchai Sisutthiyakorn said Monday, elections for those areas could not be held until the ongoing anti-government protests end.
 
Somchai said for the elections to succeed both sides in the political turmoil must compromise, and as long as conflict continues the election would never succeed.

Although voter turnout was low, ballots were cast in almost 90 percent of polling stations nationwide. Voting was canceled in 69 constituencies in 18 provinces.
 
Candidates came from 53 parties led by the governing Pheu Thai Party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. In the capital, Bangkok, center of the anti-government campaign to prevent voting, turnout was estimated at a low 25 percent.
 
More protests

A day after the vote, protesters returned to the streets in downtown Bangkok, and surrounded a government building where the prime minister was meeting.
 
Protest leader Suthep Thangsuban announced the group would dismantle two protest sites, and concentrate their efforts on several existing rally-points in the city.
 
Government opponents are expected to lobby Thailand’s courts to nullify Sunday’s election, posing additional challenges to the ruling party.
 
But Gothom Areeya, director of Mahidol University's Research Center for Peace, is hopeful that despite the legal challenges, the election process should carry on.
 
"The nullification of the election is a threat because the judiciary has so far issued so many rulings that for me was not completely logical," Gothom said. "[But] if we have the will to continue this difficult process of election we will be able to compete it and produce a parliament."
 
Late last year, the Constitutional Court ruled that the ruling party’s proposal to fill all of Thailand’s Senate seats through direct elections was an attempt to “overthrow” democracy. Currently half of the seats are appointed by civil servants and judges.
 
In Thailand's political impasse, protesters accuse the ruling party of rampant corruption and excessive influence from former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin, the brother of Prime Minister Yingluck, lives in exile to avoid a jail term on corruption charges.

WATCH: Related video footage

Protesters Dismiss Thai Electionsi
X
February 03, 2014 10:47 AM
Anti-government protesters have dismissed Sunday's snap elections in Thailand and vow to continue mass street protests to topple the caretaker government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MikeBarnett from: USA
February 03, 2014 5:05 PM
The opposition is a minority that was only able to stop voting in 10% of Thailand's polling stations. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra won in 2011 when 75% of eligible voters voted. If 45% of eligible voters voted, and none of the opposition voted owing to boycotts, it indicates that the Shinawatra government retains 60% support in the country as a whole. The world should ignore the childish rantings and ravings of those who don't have enough support to win elections.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid