Thai protestors disrupt second day of registration

Thai protestors disrupt second day of registration

THAILAND - Anti-government supporters of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) continued to disrupt constituency registration of MPs in the South on the second day of registration yesterday.

In Phatthalung, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani, protesters laid siege to premises where registrations were being held and blocked entrances to prevent candidates and election officials from entering.

Pheu Thai candidates in Surat Thani's six constituencies, led by core red-shirt leaders Yossawit Chuklom and Jeng Dokjik, filed a police complaint accusing election officials of dereliction of duty and accusing former Democrat Party MP Thani Thaugsuban of inciting protesters to assault Pheu Thai candidates.

In Krabi yesterday afternoon, provincial election officials followed in the footsteps of those in Trang and Songkhla by submitting their resignations after PDRC protesters blocked the registration office in Krabi's Muang district. They cited fear for their lives and their families as the reason for quitting their posts.

However, in Phuket two Pheu Thai Party candidates managed to register, after protesters failed to recognise them.

By contrast, registrations in the North, Northeast and Central regions were reported to have run smoothly.

Out of the 375 constituencies nationwide, 37 in seven southern provinces had failed to register candidates, caretaker Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan reported.

He suggested that Pheu Thai candidates unable to register should file complaints with police and present their applications and registration fees, so that election officials could process them.

People had a constitutional right to exercise their vote and those who obstructed election officials from carrying out their duties faced penalties of up to two years' imprisonment, Charupong said.

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