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Thai elections close, millions kept from voting

Updated: 2014-02-03 14:54:05 KST
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Thailand's much-disputed national election closed Sunday, but hundreds of polling stations in Bangkok were shut as anti-government protesters blocked access to would-be voters.
Local residents lodged complaints at police stations saying they were unable to cast their ballots.


"I came to vote because I want to keep the right. And it all depends on me even I want to cast an abstention vote."

Voting was prevented in more than 4-hundred-30 of the capital's 6,600 polling stations, and there was no voting at all in at least five southern provinces.
Voting elsewhere went smoothly.
An anti-government protest leader said the government would not be able to declare a result due to the closures.


"The elections could not be held nationwide. Therefore the government will be unable to declare a result. The election is a waste of time and money."

After the polls closed, Thailand's Election Commission said nearly 90 percent of the country's 93-thousand polling stations were able to open.
Further voting has been set for February 23rd, for those who were unable to cast their ballot during the advance voting last week, due to disruptions caused by anti-government protests.
The protests flared up in November last year, with protesters demanding Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra resign, accusing her of being a puppet for her brother and exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.
They want an unelected "people's council" that would oversee political reform.
However, with the opposition boycotting the elections, Yingluck is expected to win comfortably.
A mass protest has been called for Monday in Bangkok, further escalating tensions in the nation.
At least six people were injured Saturday in gun battles between protesters and government supporters.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.


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