Thailand election: Shinawatra appeals protesters not to block voting

Eurasia News

BANGKOK: The Thailand caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has appealed the anti-government protesters not to block voting during Sunday’s general elections, while the opposition is seeking to disrupt the planned vote as part of its campaign to overthrow the administration of Shinawatra.

The opposition has called for a mass rally tomorrow to completely paralyze the capital and prevent people from casting their votes.

On Friday, the protesters leader Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy premier under the previous military-backed government, urged his supporters to do their utmost to prevent the vote from taking place.

The anti-government protesters across the country disrupted the distribution of ballot papers as angry demonstrators blockaded at least one office in the capital Bangkok and several in southern Thailand where ballot papers were being stored.

The protesters also prevented the ballot papers from being distributed to polling stations.

The Thailand premier announced the February 2 elections in December last year in a bid to calm the deepening political crisis in the country as at least 10 persons have been killed and scores other have injured since the fresh wave of unrest broke out in November after her government proposed an amnesty bill that would pave the way for the Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in 2006 by the military and in self-exile in Dubai, to return without facing any trial.

However, the demonstrators say political reforms are needed before any elections are held. Moreover, they demand the prime minister to resign as they accuse her government of being a proxy of her elder brother Thaksin Shinawatra.