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Advance voting to go ahead, Feb 2 poll unlikely: EC

Advance voting will go ahead as scheduled on Sunday but the general election is expected to be postponed from February 2, the Election Commission announced on Saturday.

The EC resolved Saturday to hold the advance voting as scheduled on ground that the February 2 election has not been postponed yet, EC secretary-general Puchong Nutrawong and EC Teerawat Thirajojwit told a press conference.

But officials and volunteers manning the polling stations have been advised to stop the voting process and evacuate themselves if protesters besiege the venues during Sunday's advance voting.

Puchong said staff at the election units would be authorised to closely monitor and evaluate the situation.

Teerawat said provincial EC officials can postpone the advance voting for seven days or more depending on the situation.

He said the EC expected that the advance voting in 15 southern provinces and in Bangkok would meet strong protests.

Teerawat said the EC resolved to invite caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to a discussion on Tuesday after the Constitutional Court ruled that the February 2 election could be postponed.

He said the meeting would take place at 2 pm at a place selected by the prime minister at her convenience. The entire EC would meet the prime minister to discuss the election postponement.

Teerawat said he was sorry that the EC did not have the authority to postpone the election on its own but he was confident that the February 2 election would not take place.

He said the EC would hold another meeting Monday to discuss measures on how to prevent conflicts over the election and discuss whether the EC should play the role of mediator trying to mediate the national reform.




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