Connect with us

Thailand

Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Re-election turnout low; US shocked by deaths of children; Protesters on the move

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Low turnout in re-elections
Phuket Gazette / The Nation

PHUKET: RE-RUNS of the widely disrupted general election opened peacefully yesterday in five provinces, poll authorities said, in the first move to complete a troubled vote that could provide a mandate for a new government. But the turnout for the election in the five provinces was only 10.2 per cent, with 9,835 voters participating.

The five provinces are Phet-chaburi, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkram, Rayong and Petchabun.

The election on February 2 failed to ease the months-long political crisis after anti-government protesters seeking to topple caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra obstructed the vote in many opposition strongholds.

Demonstrators prevented more than 10,000 polling stations from opening, affecting several million people, mainly in opposition strongholds in Bangkok and the South.

The Election Commission said the results would not be announced until voting had been completed in all constituencies, as well as in the party-list system, setting a rough deadline of April.

A total of around 120,000 people were registered in 101 constituencies across five provinces for yesterday’s vote, election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn told AFP.

“The polls are going peacefully – everything is under control and there are no problems,” Mr Somchai said.

A trickle of voters arrived at two polling stations early yesterday in Phetchaburi – one of the affected provinces south of Bangkok – according to an AFP reporter, but there were no signs of obstruction of the polls.

Until the full results are announced, Ms Yingluck remains in a caretaker role with limited power over policy.

Under Thai election law, 95 per cent of the 500 seats in the Lower House of Parliament must be filled to enable a House convening session before the appointment of a new government.

The main opposition party, which boycotted the vote, in February lost a legal bid to nullify a controversial election.

Mr Somchai said the EC would invite four political parties to hold talks on Friday in Songkhla to discuss using measures and methods in the five provinces that have proven successful in solving problems that may arise from elections in the remaining provinces.

He dismissed criticism the EC was unable to hold the election quickly in all remaining provinces, reasoning that each province had its own problems.

The EC would allow an election to be held only in provinces that are ready and where the agency was confident polling could be held without violence.

Meanwhile, His Majesty the King yesterday signed a royal decree for a Senate election on March 30 for elected senators whose term expired yesterday.

The candidacy registration for the Upper House election has been scheduled for tomorrow until Saturday, Somchai said.

He said in some provinces, the MP election and senatorial election could be held on the same day, March 30, as the King had endorsed the royal decree for the Senate election.

US calls for investigation into children’s deaths
Phuket Gazette / The Nation

PHUKET: US Secretary of State John Kerry has called on Thailand to investigate “politically-motivated” attacks, denouncing the deaths of several children as “horrifying”.

“As allies and close friends of the Thai people, we are profoundly saddened by the deaths and injuries that have shaken the country,” Mr Kerry said in a statement on Friday.

“I call upon Thai authorities to investigate these attacks swiftly and bring those responsible to justice,” he said, adding “violence is not an acceptable means of resolving political differences”.

Thai opposition protesters seeking to force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office said on Friday night that they would abandon most of rally sites in the capital, ending their “shutdown” of Bangkok, which has lasted about four months.

The move follows increasingly frequent gunfire and grenade attacks targeting the protest sites, mostly at night.

Violence linked to the rallies has left 23 people dead and hundreds wounded in recent weeks, including four children killed in two separate grenade and gun attacks on opposition rallies.

“As a father and grandfather, the death of several innocent children is particularly horrifying, and must at last be a wake-up call to all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and respect the rule of law,” said Mr Kerry.

He insisted that the United States does not take sides in Thailand’s politics, saying it was up to the Thai people to resolve their differences.

But he highlighted US concern about “the employment of other tactics that undermine Thailand’s democratic values and processes, inhibit compromise, and further exacerbate political tensions”.

“All sides should commit to dialogue in the spirit of seeking common ground to address differences and find a peaceful, democratic way forward,” he added.

Anti-government campaigners move to Lumpini Park
Phuket Gazette / The Nation

PHUKET: Rally leader Suthep Thaugsuban spoke to anti-government protesters at a new rally site at Lumpini Park on Sunday.

All rally sites except the one at the Government Complex on Chang Wattana road were closed.

Lumpini will be the main rally site for People’s Democratic for Reform Committee (PDRC), said Mr Suthep.

Mr Suthep, together with co-leaders and Student and People Network for Thailand’s Reform (STR) co-ordinator Uthai Yodmanee, led the protesters from the Pathumwan rally site to Lumpini Park Sunday morning.

In a related development, protesters from other protest venues – Asok, Silom and Ratchaprasong – have been moved to join the rally at the Lumpini protest site.

However, Buddhist monk Phra Buddha Issara did not move to join the Lumpini rally site.

The monk stood firm that the Chaeng Wattana stage would remain.

Mr Suthep on Friday announced an end to “Bangkok Shutdown,” which started on Jan 13 in an attempt to oust the caretaker government in order to pave the way for political reform.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand39 mins ago

PM’s daughters get letter asking them to tell their father to resign

Coronavirus (Covid-19)54 mins ago

Monday Covid Update: 17,970 new cases, provincial totals

News2 hours ago

Police bust gambling operations in Bangkok and Kamphaeng Phet

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Best of2 hours ago

Chiang Mai’s 5 best eco-friendly hotels

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

‘Dark red’ curfews, interprovincial public transport ban possibly until Aug 31 – CCSA

Thailand3 hours ago

The Thaiger launches the ‘I Am Strong’ campaign

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Chon Buri4 hours ago

Narcolepsy suspected as cause of car accident in Chon Buri

Best of4 hours ago

Top 5 hair salons in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Healthcare worker pleads with PM to set up “war room” to manage pandemic

Best of5 hours ago

The best backpacker hostels in Phuket

Politics5 hours ago

Official detained after spreading rumour of planned coup to oust PM

Business5 hours ago

Thai AirAsia suspends flights, cuts salaries as financial woes continue

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 17,970 new cases and 178 deaths

Phuket6 hours ago

Phuket sealed off from tomorrow in bid to curb virus spread, save sandbox

Coronavirus Vaccines6 hours ago

Bangkok vaccination centres shut down at weekend due to vaccine shortages

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending