BANGKOK, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Thai political parties started Monday to register their party-list candidates for the upcoming Feb. 2 general election amid disruption from anti-government protesters who have besieged the registration venue.
Starting from 3 a.m., a number of political parties successively arrived at the Thai-Japanese Stadium, six gates of which have been blocked by thousands of protesters since Sunday night.
Nine parties already had their representatives report to officials of the Election Commission inside the compound of the stadium while 25 others had their men report at a nearby police station after they had failed to break through the unruly crowds to get inside the stadium.
Any party which may apply for the election before 8:30 a.m. will legally draw lots to get electoral numbers. A total of 34 parties reported well before that moment.
Election Commission secretary general Puchong Nutarawong who asked the protesters to let him get in the stadium but was denied said the lot-drawing for electoral numbers could not be arranged on Monday for security reasons and might be postponed until Tuesday.
All parties which intend to send their respective party-list candidates can apply until Friday while the application for individual candidates is scheduled to begin next Monday.
The nine parties which have already applied and awaited the lot- drawing included the Pheu Thai (for Thais) Party, the Chart Thai Pattana (developed Thailand) Party and the Chart Pattana ( developed country) Party.
Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who is seeking a comeback as head of a post-election government, is pitted as No.1 on the Pheu Thai party list, followed by former premier Somchai Wongsawat, caretaker interior minister Charupong Ruangsuwan and caretaker foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul.
Former premier Banharn Silpa-acha is pitted as No.1 on the list of the Chart Thai Pattana Party.
The major opposition Democrat Party, headed by former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva, has resolved to boycott the election.
BANGKOK, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Thai caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra offered Saturday to have a national reform council immediately set up following the Feb. 2 election.
Yingluck suggested that all parties contesting the nationwide election issue a joint declaration to assure that such a reform council will be set up immediately after the race to parliament has been done. Full story
BEIJING, Dec. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- After almost 2 months of political instability, Thailand is seeing fresh rounds of street marches. The February election has acquired center stage. The protesters want it postponed.Full Story