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Demonstrators destroy ballot papers

PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC Reform Committee protesters have torn up some ballot papers for the February 2 election that were kept at a printing house on Lat Phrao Road, Election Commission (EC) secretary-general Puchong Nutrawong said Saturday.

The protesters on Friday laid siege to the Kurusapa printing house, where ballot papers are printed. Election officials found that some ballot papers had been destroyed.

The EC has yet to check the extent of the damage because the protesters declared that no official was to go inside the printing house. They also put glue in the building's locks, Puchong said.

EC to decide

Ballot papers for advance voting on January 26 have been printed and delivered. The election commissioners now must decide whether the ballot papers for the February 2 election need to be reprinted, and where this should be done, because the protesters have blocked authorities from going inside the Kurusapa printing house.

Democrat Party deputy leader Ong-art Klampaiboon called on caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the EC to postpone the February 2 election, citing the possibility that more people could get killed and injured due to clashes among officials, government supporters and opponents.

"Legal snags"

Ong-art added that the election could also run into many legal snags. He said it was unlikely Parliament would get 95 per cent of the total MPs required since 28 constituencies in southern provinces have no MP candidates. Besides, since the House was dissolved, many unconstitutional offences have been committed, he said.

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana rejected speculation that the EC had invited the government to discuss the possibility of postponing the election. He declined to say if the EC had authority to request that the Constitutional Court rule on deferring the election, but added there was no conflict of authority between the government and the EC on holding an election. The government had the duty to support the EC in holding the election, he said.


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