• Advance voting cancelled in 89 Thai constituencies

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    BANGKOK: Thailand’s anti-government protesters on Sunday prevented 89 constituencies out of the total 375 nationwide from going through with the advance voting for the Feb. 2 election.

    As a result, 440,000 people, or 22 percent of the 2 million who had registered to vote in advance, failed to cast their votes, Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn was quoted by Bangkok Post as saying.

    Of the 89 constituencies, 33 were in the capital Bangkok and 56 in southern provinces, according to Somchai.

    Somchai said members of the Election Commission (EC) were worried that Feb. 2 would see violence and chaos that might cause injury and death, just as what happened on Sunday.

    Clashes occurred between protesters and pro-government supporters, resulting in the death of Suthin Tharathin, a core protest leader, and nine other injuries.

    It remains to be seen whether or not the government headed by caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will agree to defer the Feb. 2 election as suggested by the EC and already endorsed by the Constitutional Court.

    The EC and Yingluck are expected to negotiate on the postponement later on Tuesday.

    The caretaker government will not postpone the election, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said Sunday.

    Yingluck and her Cabinet will face impeachment if they insist on pushing ahead with the Feb. 2 election regardless of the Constitution Court’s ruling, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Sunday. PNA

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