EC: 20.5 million voters partake in Feb 2 polls


BANGKOK, 3 February 2014 The Election Commission (EC) has revealed that nearly 20.5 million eligible voters in 68 of the 77 provinces cast their ballots during the February 2 election while reiterating that the official results can only be released after the balloting is fully completed in all areas. 

EC Secretary-General Phuchong Nutrawong said the commission had acknowledged reports from chiefs of the provincial electoral units concerning the voter turnout on Sunday. Out of about 44.6 million eligible voters across the country, almost 20.5 million came out to exercise their rights, accounting for 45.8%. Voting could take place in 68 provinces while protesters successfully closed down polling booths in the other 9 provinces, namely Songkhla, Trang, Phatthalung, Phuket, Phang Nga, Surat Thani, Ranong, Krabi and Chumphon.

The highest turnout was recorded in Lamphun province, with over 241,000 votes cast or 72.8%, followed by Nong Bua Lamphu and Bueng Kan. The southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat saw the lowest turnout at merely 0.11% while Bangkok posted a 26% turnout.

However, the numbers of invalid ballots and “No” votes remain to be counted. Mr Phuchong reaffirmed that since the voting process was disrupted in many constituencies, both during the election day and the absentee voting on January 26, the polls would need to be reorganized in those areas before any results could be made public.

The EC Secretary-General also expressed concerns over the recurrence of previous disruptions by protesters and the absence of MP candidates in some constituencies. He insisted that the commission was working hard to find measures to solve the problems and allow the general election to be concluded.