Registration blocked in 6 provinces

The Election Commission on Saturday halted candidate registrations for the Feb 2 election in six southern provinces after poll officials were blocked from performing their duties.

However, registration was trouble-free in Bangkok and the rest of the country, following violent clashes that had impeded political party registrations in the capital earlier in the week.

Candidates registering included Wan Yubamrung, son of the combative caretaker labour minister Chalerm Yubamrung; four members of the family of veteran northeastern political warhorse Sanoh Thienthong; Chartthaipattana leader Banharn Silpa-archa and his son; as well as relatives of some other prominent politicians.

The six affected provinces are Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Chumphon, Trang and Phuket, said EC secretary-general Puchong Nutrawong.

Although the EC had not ordered a halt to registrations in Surat Thani, poll officials and candidates were still not able to enter the registration venue, to which water and power supplies had been cut.

The EC would wait until 4.30pm to decide whether to stop, he said.

In Nakhon Si Thammarat, election officials were not able to enter a building they had planned to use for candidate registration work after the owner, who was intimidated, refused to let them use it.

Protesters at the site used loudspeakers to criticise the government and the EC for not calling off the Feb 2 poll.

In Chumphon, the venue was surrounded by more than 100 anti-election protesters who also cut water and electricity supplies. Candidates were not able to get inside, but no violence was reported.

In Surat Thani, protesters laid siege to the registration venue and no candidates turned up to register.

In Krabi, another group of protesters led by the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) put up a large "Reform first, then election" sign in front of the election centre.

No violence was reported, but only two candidates and one official managed to slip into the registration venue.

In Songkhla, the registration site was blockaded and no candidates had turned up.

Nakhon Si Thammarat, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Krabi and Songkhla have a total of 29 constituencies.

It was reported that members of the Songkhla election committee had announced their intention to resign today after encountering problems.

Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, the commissioner in charge of election administration, said the EC had advised provincial election chiefs to try to negotiate with the protesters or move to new venues.

Candidate registrations have to be carried out from Saturday through Wednesday and the dates cannot be postponed, he added.

Mr Puchong said the situation was normal and candidate registration was going ahead in 16 northern provinces.

Registrations also were trouble-free in the 20 provinces in the Northeast as well as in all of the Central and eastern provinces, officials said.

The North and Northeast are the strongholds of the governing Pheu Thai party while the Democrats, who are boycotting the Feb 2 poll, dominate the South.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 29/12/2013 at 02:42 PM
"Reform first" sound great. But what exactly do you mean by reforms? Less elected senate members? A bachelor degree = 2 votes, Farmers = 0,5 vote? Reform against corruption sounds great. But here are already laws, only they are not obeyed and rich and Phuyais are never scrutinized let alone convicted. Vote buying is already prohibited. What really should be reformed ironically are the last things Suthep wants to be touched. To make reasonable reforms and changes it will take 10-50 years, but democracy must go on or it will only get worse. I support to put pressure on the government(s) but democracy must persist.
Discussion 2 : 29/12/2013 at 02:31 PM
@Fox Yes they do. Reforms towards more extreme muslim rules and less freedom.
Discussion 3 : 29/12/2013 at 01:28 PM
what is the difference? driving benz, have western-style houses and furniture, western clothes etc, but not like western democracy!!
Discussion 4 : 29/12/2013 at 10:46 AM
Blocking access to the people who want to run in an election? And this is for "the people"? I am very concerned for the people who cannot see the irony of this. This man, Suthep, is interested in ruling over the Thai people. He is a dictator not a democratic reformer. He is afraid of losing another election so he tries to attain power by any means necessary. He leads by fear.
Discussion 5 : 29/12/2013 at 10:34 AM
I guess they are also pushing for reforms before elections?
Discussion 6 : 29/12/2013 at 10:33 AM
Surat Thani is also the home base of the UDD leader Nattawut...whats your point?
Discussion 7 : 29/12/2013 at 09:38 AM
10% by all accounts does not make the majority an election does so accept it and save thailand more trouble and loss of income
Discussion 8 : 29/12/2013 at 09:21 AM
Reform first.
Discussion 9 : 29/12/2013 at 02:52 AM
In Afghanistan the Taliban are also mounting an all out effort to stop elections. Extremists fear the polls.
Discussion 10 : 28/12/2013 at 09:42 PM
To the Crooks, politics is just a very profitable business. From father to son it continues on with this Vicious Circle. The whole problem is the Weakness of the Judiciary System and the ones who enforce it.
Discussion 11 : 28/12/2013 at 08:48 PM
I think this article exposes the genuine reach and extent of Sutheps support base amongst 'the people' of Thailand. Suthep ordered his faithful supporters throughout the country to stop and or disrupt registrations at all locations. Yet nothing at all happened in well over 90% of the provinces. Its therefore not surprising he wont consider going to the polls. His only hope for securing the reigns of power are through a blood bath and resulting military coup that he will try to spin as the result of others actions. A crazy man, brewing up a crazy situation that may well destroy the country.
Discussion 12 : 28/12/2013 at 05:47 PM
Surat Thani is home base to Suthep. Of course he would order more resistance there. Turning of water and power in Bangkok would effect many people and businesses and turn them against Suthep. He can do anything he wants in his home provence.
Discussion 13 : 28/12/2013 at 04:02 PM
excuse me but TS knows how to Skype. Tell me one 20 year old who doesn't know how to skype, video chat and use email.
Discussion 14 : 28/12/2013 at 03:41 PM
There are values like equal rights and democracy that are acccepted universally. Thailand is no exception.
Discussion 15 : 28/12/2013 at 03:29 PM
A common thread throughout this site is reference to other countries on how things are done. This is Thailand so accept it and get over it.
Discussion 16 : 28/12/2013 at 02:18 PM
But this is Thailand and this has been the mentality for decades
Discussion 17 : 28/12/2013 at 02:11 PM
In this modern age you think they could do it by email, scanner, online in some areas you can vote online.
Discussion 18 : 28/12/2013 at 01:50 PM
In australia or in the United States or the UK or Japan if protesters conducted themselves like this and blocked candidates from registration they would be arrested on the spot.. If a dictatorship like an army or suthep came in we would be protesting for a fair election and a democratically elected government. Thailand has advanced since 2006 and needs to respect all people rights
Discussion 19 : 28/12/2013 at 01:12 PM
If, for whatever reason, MPs cannot be endorsed in 25 or more constituencies, then the House of Representatives cannot be convened. If we get past the election, that is a quite possible scenario I think.

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