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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs