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New Elections to Be Held in Areas that Still Have Problems

February 6, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

1434101148pThe Election Commission of Thailand will hold new elections to tackle problems occurred in the 2 February 2014 general election.
The 2 February general election was peaceful despite fears of violence. However, voting could not take place in many constituencies. Then, official election results could not be announced.

The House of Representatives consists of 500 members, 375 of whom are chosen from the election on the constituency basis, and 125 of whom are chosen on the party-list basis.

According to the Constitution, the new House needs at least 475 out of 500 MPs for a quorum, so that it will be able to convene and appoint a new Prime Minister, who will form a new government.

Election Commissioner Somchai Srisuttiyakon said that the new elections would be held to solve several election-related problems. For instance, 28 constituencies were unable to open for registration of election candidates. Advance voting on 26 January 2014 faced problems in many areas and has been postponed until 23 February.

Moreover, 39 constituencies were unable to conduct polling. These provinces included Songkhla, Trang, Phatthalung, Phuket, Surat Thani, Ranong, Krabi, Chumphon and Phang-nga. A total of 32 constituencies were able to hold elections in certain polling stations. They are in nine provinces, namely Phetchaburi, Rayong, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Satun, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Bangkok.

According to unofficial results of the 2 February general election, reported by the Election Commission, 89.2 percent of the polling stations throughout the country were able to conduct polling. Out of the total of 44,649,742 eligible voters, 20,468,646, or 45.84 percent, turned out to cast their ballots. The figures did not include eligible voters of the nine southern provinces where voting was cancelled.

The province with the highest voter turnout was Lamphun in the North, with 72.80 percent, followed by the Nong Bua Lamphu in the Northeast, with 72.50 percent, and Bueng Kan in the Northeast, with 70 percent. The southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat registered the lowest turnout, with only 0.11 percent.

Voter turnout in Bangkok was 26.18 percent, while 73.82 percent of the eligible voters in the capital did not go to the poll. Out of 50 districts in Bangkok, 35 districts did not have problems concerning voting.

Election Commissioner Somchai on 3 February joined a meeting with the Center for Maintaining of Peace and Order (CMPO). He assured the meeting that the Election Commission would conduct new elections in areas that still have problems. CMPO is ready to offer assistance.

The ongoing anti-government demonstration in Bangkok, led by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), remains peaceful. PDRC has continued protests to oust caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her government from power and reiterated the call for reform before election.

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