Registration still blocked in South

Registration of constituency MP candidates was still being blocked on Wednesday, the last day for applications, in Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang and Songkhla.

In Surat Thani, Arthisak Jomsuebvisit, an observer from the Election Commission in Bangkok, and the four remaining provincial election committee members held talks with co-leaders of the province’s People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), and asked them to allow candidates to register.

The request was rejected by the protesters surrounding the application centre at the province’s sports stadium. The leaders said they did not oppose registration in principle, but wanted national reform before an election.

On Tuesday, 37 members of the election committees in six constituencies resigned from their posts because of the pressure from anti-government protesters.

In Nakhon Si Thammarat, about 100 supporters of the PDRC blocked all entrance and exit gates at Srinakarindra border patrol police 42 camp, which was secretly opened as a registration centre after the official centre was blockaded.

The protesters wanted to prevent the remaining candidates from applying to run in the planned Feb 2 election. There was no violence.

Candidates of five political parties, including Pheu Thai, had managed to apply at the secret registration venue in the early hours of Tuesday morning and were airlifted out by helicopter.

The Songkhla Election Commission Committee on Wednesday declared a halt to registration of constituency MP candidates after the provincial registration centre was surrounded by anti-election protesters.

The situation was the same in Trang, where the application centre was also blocked by PDRC protesters.

Fifteen MP candidates of the Pheu Thai, Bhumjaithai, Chartthaipattana and Palang Sahakorn (Cooperatives Power) parties on Wednesday gathered at Pheu Thai coordinating centre at Rose Inn Mansion on Muang district.

They jointly issued a statement calling for the local election committee to change the registration venue from the protest- surrounded Thung Chaeng sports stadium to a meeting hall inside Phraya Rassadanupradit military camp in Huay Yod district, to open way for registration, similar to what was done in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The candidates complained that they had not been able to register since Dec 28, when applications opened, due the obstruction of the protesters. They would submit a petition asking for a change in the registration venue to the Trang election committee for consideration.

The chairman of the Trang provincial election committee, Saneh Rakrong, said Thung Chaeng sports stadium will continue to be used as the registration centre, even though it was surrounded by protesters.

Mr Saneh said without an official order from the Election Commission in Bangkok, he could not change the venue to the military camp as demanded by the applicant candidates.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 01/01/2014 at 04:40 PM
It would be interesting to ask the mob surrounding the stadia to give details of exactly what reforms they are seeking.
Discussion 2 : 01/01/2014 at 01:24 PM
Let the people vote. What contemporary country in the world (other than those like North Korea) would deny people the right to vote simply because people blocking entrances know they would lose a general election? So let the people speak and then have dialogue about political issues (likes and dislikes) rather than mob rule.

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