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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
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 A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid