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'No-vote is one of 3 options if poll goes ahead'

According to many protesters led by the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), there will be only three options left for them if there is an election on February 2: register a "no vote", spoil the ballot, or just don't turn up at the election at all.

Those who favour the "no vote" option reason that they must use their right to vote to show their disapproval of the Pheu Thai Party.

Others said they must use their right to vote in opposition to the government to stop the ruling party, which still enjoys support in the North and Northeast, from winning another mandate.

Professor Chainapa Lepajarn of Bundit Patanasilpa Institute said she would either register a "no vote" or legally make her ballot invalid because she was afraid that a vote she made in her name could be "stolen" by a political party. If she registered her option to vote for no parties, such a theft would be impossible.

Those who don't intend to vote at all said this would show their disapproval of the current election system. A "no vote" could be seen as supporting a system that they have been saying all along needs some sort of "reform". If there are no reforms now, nothing will change, they argue.

But Saravis Meenuch, from Samut Prakan, said he saw this as sacrificing one's basic rights in order to show disapproval.

When The Nation asked protesters whether they would come out on the streets of Bangkok again after New Year if PDRC secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban called for another rally, all said they definitely would.

"We can't leave the matter half-finished. I'll join this until the end," one person said.


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