Thai opposition launches ‘biggest rally’ to derail polls

Bangkok, Jan 30 (IANS) Thailand’s main opposition party, People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), Thursday launched its “biggest rally” in an effort to thwart the Feb 2 elections and calling for reforms in the political system ahead of fresh parliamentary polls.

The protests would “completely shutdown” Bangkok, said PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban, calling upon people who are against the elections to join the protest and turn Bangkok streets into walking streets, the Bangkok Post reported.
The protestors also want Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down.
Unlike its polling stations blockade during advance voting last Sunday, Suthep said the PDRC would not prevent people from voting Feb 2.
However, he called on the PDRC supporters to rally on every street and park their cars on roads on the polling day.
“Those who want to vote and become a servant of the Thaksin regime, just do it, but we won’t,” he said.
The fresh round of protests against the elections would continue till Sunday, Suthep said.
Since November last year, they have been taking to the streets and occupying government offices.
“We want to announce to the international community that we do not reject democracy but reject fake democracy. We are calling for reform of the country before an election,” he said.
Meanwhile, Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, a member of the national election commission, said the poll body would be unable to announce the results after voting closes Sunday.
He said the election commission would have to reschedule voting for some two million voters, who could not cast their ballots in advance voting last Sunday due to anti-government protests. Fresh voting is likely to take place in late February.