Turn up and don't vote, urge anti-Thaksin activists

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Thailand 2006 Party ballot, the box at the bottom right can be marked with an 'x' to indicate an abstention

In the last days before the Thai snap-election this Sunday, some activists seeking the removal of the now-caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra are urging voters to use the "No-vote" box on ballot papers.

A women's rights group issued their second statement on the subject, urging voters to turn up at polling stations and register their abstention. The statement from Women and the Constitution Network said, "We want the Thai people to go to the polls and exercise their voting right by choosing to abstain." An earlier statement had called for the beleaguered PM to resign. According to Thailand's The Nation other groups, including student organisations are urging voters to use the "no-vote" option.

Calling into question whether the election will result in a full parliament, the Bangkok Post claims to have information from a Thai Rak Thai party insider that around 100 of the 168 seats where they stand uncontested may not meet the minimum requirement that 20% of the eligble voters vote for the candidate. With less than the required 500 members in the lower house, ratification of a new Prime Minister will not be possible.