BANGKOK, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Police fired tear gas at the anti-government protesters who had tried to disrupt Thursday's electoral process at a Bangkok stadium.
Hundreds of the protesters who had tried to invade into the stadium were dispersed by the tear gas fired from inside the compound in Dindaeng area where representatives of 30 political parties vying in the February 2 election drew lots for electoral numbers.
The policemen managed to secure the perimeters of the stadium while the protesters tried to force their way through the gates but were largely deterred by tear gas. At a few spots further from the stadium, police fired rubber bullets in addition to tear gas to drive away the unruly crowds.
Squads of army soldiers were also deployed to help keep the protesters from invading and obstructing the electoral process which had been put off from Monday amid the prolonged street protest.
It took barely half an hour for the lot-drawing to get done in the presence of Election Commission chief Supachai Somcharoen who arrived in the stadium before the protesters did in the morning.
Following the application for the party-listed candidates is that for constituency-based candidates from Saturday until next Wednesday.
Major parties contesting the nationwide polls include the Pheu Thai (for Thais) Party (No.15) under whose tickets acting premier Yingluck Shinawatra is seeking re-election, the Chart Thai Pattana (developed Thailand) Party (No. 14) under whose banners former premier Banharn Silapa-acha is seeking re-election, the Chart Pattana (developed country) Party (No. 1) and the Bhum Jai Thai ( proud Thais) Party (No. 6).
The Democrat Party, headed by former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva, is boycotting the election after it had called in vain for postponement until the country has undergone "reforms."
Yingluck said on Wednesday she will set up a "council for reforms of the country" while the electoral process will go on until early February. The council which will consist of 499 members from all walks of life will forward its proposals for the reforms to the post-election government and parliament so that they will be approved and implemented promptly, she said.
BEIJING, Dec. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- Thai anti-government protesters have abandoned efforts to block candidates from signing up for a February election. But they have vowed to hound Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and thwart a poll she is expected to win.
Protesters fear the February election would only entrench the power of Yingluck’s family, which is hugely popular among the rural poor of the populous north and northeast. Full story
BEIJING, Dec. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- In Thailand, thousands of anti-government protesters have blocked election registration centres in Bangkok, in hopes of disrupting an upcoming vote in February. The protesters were answering a call by opposition leader Suthep Thaugsuban to derail the election.
But despite the blockade, the Thai Election Commission says eight parties, including the ruling Pheu Thai Party managed to register at the center. More than 20 other parties are reported to have registered at a nearby police station, a procedure allowed by the commission. Full story