Protesters bar registration of party-list election candidates

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BANGKOK, Dec 23 — Thailand’s national Election Commission (EC) could not begin registration of candidates contesting the February 2 general election today because anti-government protesters rallied at the application venue in Bangkok, interfering with access to the site.

Protesters of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) blocked the entrance of the Thai-Japanese sports stadium, the venue for the registration of party-list election candidates.

The gates were chained and locked with keys to prevent any representatives from political parties to enter the premises.

Party-listed candidates for the February 2 elections are required to submit their applications in Bangkok between today and Friday. Registration for constituency seats is set for December 28-January 1, while provincial candidates can register in their respective provinces.

The EC later unofficially announced that 34 political parties were regarded as having submitted their party-list applications before 8:30 am.

That ruling means they are all eligible for lot drawing to distribute party-list numbers.

The EC added that nine parties entered the Thai-Japanese sports stadium to register their party-list candidates — including Pheu Thai, Chart Thai and Chartthaipattana and the rest — registered their intention to contest in the party-list election with the Din Daeng police station.

The Pheu Thai party list of candidates shows Yingluck Shinawatra, followed by former premier Somchai Wongsawat, Charupong Ruangsuwan, Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Chaikasem Nitisiri, Chalerm Yubamrung, Sanoh Thienthong, Pracha Prommog, Pongthep Thepkanjana, and Plodprasop Suraswadi.

Puchong Nutrawong, EC secretary general, said that there would be no drawing number process today for fair treatment among parties who were unable to enter the stadium.

He could not confirm that the venue would be changed to Queen Sirikit Convention Centre.