After elections, Thailand protesters crank up pressure against Yingluck Shinawatra
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Last Updated: Monday, February 03, 2014, 13:00
  
Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Bangkok: Even as Thailand elections, marred by boycott and protests, are expected to bring Pheu Thai Party back to victory, the anti-government protesters on Monday will carry on their march aimed at toppling PM Yingluck Shinawatra.

The protesters would march to Lumpini Park today as the rallies planned to Lat Phrao and Victory Monument protest have been cancelled in wake of security risks.

The protest marches have been staged by the anti-government group People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), led by Suthep Thaugsuban.

Suthep had boycotted the calls the moment the elections were announced and had urged protesters not to vote for an election which was bound to bring back 'Thaksin Regime' to power.

The snap polls which were called by the PM to diffuse the persistent protests that started last year, will hardly bring any stability to the chaos that the country has plunged in since last few months.

The results, which haven't been announced yet in wake of disrupted polling at dozens of constituencies, might be in favour of PM's party. But given that it had been boycotted by the opposition Democrat Party and the protesters had blocked candidate registration at many centres before polls, the parliament will not have enough members to convene.

This also means that it will not be feasible for the PM to form a government, thus landing Thailand into another post-poll phase of political crisis.

Despite being boycotted by the opposition and plagued by protests, Thailand on Sunday went to the polls as planned, with voting at many constituencies being disrupted. 

The bye-elections for those constituencies will be held later and the schedule will be discussed by the country's Election Commission today.

According to the local newspaper, The Nation, voting was held smoothly at 59 provinces, at 83,669 out of all 93,952 polling stations, according to EC secretary-general Puchong Nutrawong.

With 306 out of 375 constituencies witnessing voting, polling was conducted at 89 per cent of the constituencies, the report quoted an EC official as saying.

Only 1/4th, that is, 25 percent of the e;eligible voters were able to cast their votes, with a total of 12 million people failing to cast their votes, according to an Election Commission (EC) official, the report added.

Though, the fears of violence were heightened on the Election Day which came just after a day of gunbattle between the anti-government protesters and government supporters, the polling went largely peacefully except few scuffles. Thailand is in the grip of chaos and political crisis since November last year when the government wanted to pass Amnesty Bill that would have facilitated the PM's brother Thaksin Shinawatra entry into the country. Thaksin, who is in a self-imposed exile, was ousted in a military coup in 2006 for power abuse and corruption. 

The protesters led by Suthep, call Yingluck govt a puppet regime which works under the influence of Thaksin, and want her to step down and establish an unelected "people's council". 


First Published: Monday, February 03, 2014, 10:02


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