Election Commission sets Feb 23 for new round of advance election


BANGKOK, Jan 30 – The Election Commission (EC) has set Feb 23 for the advance election in constituencies where balloting was disrupted last Sunday.

Suthep Promwas, EC deputy secretary general for public participation, said results of the Feb 2 general election will not be officially announced until the Feb 23 advance election is completed.

Voters who failed to cast their ballots on Jan 26 due to disruption by protesters are told to exercise their voting rights on Feb 23.

Mr Suthep said the EC has received over 100,000 ballots from the Jan 26 advance election and 8,611 others from voters in 33 countries. About 10,000 more ballots will be delivered from over 50 countries soon.

Regarding 28 constituencies in eight southern provinces where candidates are non-existent, he said a royal decree for elections in the 28 constituencies must be issued after the Feb 2 general election.

If possible, election in the 28 constituencies will be held simultaneously with the advance election on Feb 23, he said.

He said EC secretary general Puchong Nutrawong will talk with Luang Pu Buddha Issara today to seek his permission to return to the EC office on Chaeng Wattana Road.

Thailand’s Government Complex on Chaengwattana Road has been seized by anti-government protesters, led by the Buddhist monk

In the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, protesters of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) have sealed off the entrance and exit of the Thung Song postal centre since yesterday and partially blocked the nearby road, disrupting delivery of ballots to polling stations in Trang, Phattalung and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The postal centre in Chumphon was also occupied yesterday by protesters who vowed to station there until election day.

The postal centre in Chumphon is responsible for delivering ballots to Chumphon, Surat Thani, Ranong, Phang-nga and Phuket.