THAILAND – The Election Commission (EC) should hold new elections in unsuccessful constituencies in seven days to enable voters to exercise their rights, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana said today.
Out of 94,454 polling stations in 375 constituencies, he said election proceeded smoothly in 84,325 stations, representing 89.28 per cent.
He said 310 constituencies operated without any problem, 26 constituencies were partially open for voting and 39 constituencies could not be opened.
In Bangkok’s 33 constituencies which cover 6,671 polling stations, elections were organised without disruptions in 20 constituencies and partial elections were held in 13 constituencies, or 92.59 per cent of the total constituencies, he said.
“The government hopes that people who could not cast their ballots today will be able to exercise their rights in seven days,” said Mr Pongthep.
EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen said the EC could not announce nationwide voting results until it receives results from three portions – advance election, overseas election and general election.
Advance elections on Jan 26 were called off due to disruptions by protesters and the EC has set Feb 23 for another round of advance elections.
Mr Supachai said the EC will have to discuss about organising elections in 28 constituencies in the South where election registrations have not been completed so far.
The EC chairman expressed appreciation to voters and related election officials for organising the elections with patience.
Meanwhile, the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) announced that rallies to pressure the caretaker prime minister and government to resign would continue despite today’s elections.
PDRC spokesman Akanat Promphan said an announcement of victory by Chalerm Yubamrung, director of the Centre for Maintaining of Peace and Order (CMPO), would aggravate protesters’ sentiment and lead to escalating violence.
He said police have never arrested any culprit in attacks against PDRC protesters who were killed and injured in several grave incidents.
Mr Akanat claimed gunmen with green armbands who were spotted opening fire in yesterday’s clash at Lak Si intersection were not PDRC security guards.
All PDRC guards must carry credentials, not only green armbands, he said.