3 million cast votes in Thailand’s absentee and advance voting

 

2007-12-17 19:01:53

    BANGKOK, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) — Around 3 million of Thailand’s 45 million eligible voters cast ballots in the absentee and advance voting during the past Saturday and Sunday, the Election Commission said Monday.

    Some 2.09 million voters have registered for absentee voting set on the past two weekend days, which is designed for those that would not be able to cast ballots in home constituency on the general election date of Dec. 23. It turned out that 87.77 percent of the registered number, amounting to 1.83 million ballots, have been cast, said Election Commission member Praphan Naigowit.

    Also attending the weekend voting is some 1.12 million advance voters who cast ballots in their home constituency, ahead of the Dec. 23 election date.

    Together it makes 2.95 million votes in total, an unprecedented number in the country’s election history.

    Bangkok ranked first both for absentee and advance balloting, with 823,331 absentee votes, accounting for 91 percent of 903,899 registered voters, and 199,357 advance votes.

    Praphan expressed satisfaction with the high voter turnout and voting process in the absentee voting and reaffirmed that the general election will take place as scheduled next Sunday, Dec. 23.

    Ballot boxes for absentee and advance votings would be dispatched under tight security for counting on Dec. 23 and political parties would be welcomed to designate their representatives to assist in safeguarding the boxes, Praphan said, responding to doubts of some parties about possible balloting fraud in the storage process.

    The Dec. 23 general election will be the first for the country since it experienced a military coup on Sept. 19, 2006, which ousted twice-elected prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

    Thai citizens are expected to vote for a favorite political party and candidate contesting for 480 parliament member seats of the House of Representatives.

    A poll released earlier this month found out that nearly 50 percent of potential voters were still undecided on which party to vote for, though most recent surveys showed that the People Power Party, considered a nominee party for Thaksin, who remained in a self-exile since the coup, is leading the race.

Editor: Du Guodong

3 million cast votes in Thailand’s absentee and advance voting_English_Xinhua

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