Please join us on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/bangkokpostlearningViolence at candidate registration centre
Suthep ends siege, but STR takes over
The Election Commission has ended its attempts at holding registration of party candidates today and officials have started leaving the building. The commissioners, however, did say that they would go ahead with the ballot number draw tomorrow and told each party to be present at 9pm. Soon afterwards, rally leader Nitithorn Lamlua said that won't happen and that his group would block any attempt to do so.
At about 11am, protesters pushed forward, trying to enter the sports complex, breaking some windows, but failing to force a determined line of police to back off. The police, some using shields, held firm and now it is the protesters who have backed off. Group leader Nitithorn Lamlua says they will remain at the site at least until registration closes at 16:30 and possibly overnight.
Thai PBS has reported the situation has calmed considerably with some protesters even pausing for lunch. Foir the most part, the protesters are still outside the building itself. The Election Commission seems determined to continue the registration process, but the protesters also seem determined to stop it, so there are likely to be further developments today.
The anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) yesterday ended its siege of the Thai-Japanese Stadium, the election candidacy registration venue.But this morning, a new and more radical group is there and are close to breaking into the venue. In the past few minutes, there are reports of broken windows as protesters made a sudden surge forward through police lines, bringing their sound truck into the compound with them. They have effectively fenced the police inside mobile barriers.
The group, members of the Student and People Network for Thailand's Reform (STR) led by Nitithorn Lamlua have demanded Election Commission officials leave the building. Earlier, in a symbolic gesture, they wrapped a giant Thai flag around the entrance. The situation is reported to be extremely tense as protesters demand a halt to the election process to let major reforms take place first. More shortly.