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Thai election commission offers to postpone parliamentary polls for 6 months

January 27, 2014, 12:45 UTC+3
During the early polls January 26 the protesters managed to sabotage the work of polling stations in 89 out of 375 electoral wards
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© EPA/RUNGROJ YONGRIT

BANGKOK, January 27. /ITAR-TASS/. The election commission of Thailand believes the snap elections to the country’s National Assembly (the parliament) need to be postponed for six months in order to overcome the interior political crisis, Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, spokesperson for the election commission told journalists on Monday.

Infographics Bangkok unrest Bangkok unrest
Map of Bangkok locating main protest sites and roads blocked by the opposition. ITAR-TASS Infographics
“On the one hand, we do not want an overlong delay, because all this time the government would be in the acting status and would be restricted in its powers. On the other hand, we need time to solve the conflict in the society,” Somchai Srisuthiyakorn believes. He added that the election commission leadership intended to offer a 6-months delay to acting Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra during their meeting January 28. It is expected that in the course of that meeting they would be discussing the option of postponing the elections.

The election commission says that during the early polls January 26 the protesters managed to sabotage the work of polling stations in 89 out of 375 electoral wards. As a result, over 440 thousand people could not cast their votes. This is about 22% out of 2 million voters registered to participate in the early elections.

According to Emergency medicine center affiliated with Bangkok’s administration, one person died and 13 were wounded in clashes between government’s backers and opponents on Sunday, January 26. Among the injured, in particular, there were voters that had come to their polling stations.

Observers believe the elections’ delay most probably would not suit Thai opposition that ignores every possibility on the way to compromise. Protesters’ leader Suthep Thaugsuban delivering a speech in front of his followers Sunday night stated that he strived “not for elections delay, as many think, but for their total cancellation”. According to the oppositionists’ demands, elections in Thailand may take place only after a political and electoral reform is carried out. The acting system, when everyone in the kingdom may vote regardless of his financial or social status, does not suit the protesters since it does not allow the oppositionists, whose ideological core consists of Democratic party supporters, to win elections since 1992.

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