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Thailand court could declare Feb election void

Published on Mar 21, 2014 11:25 AM
Anti-government protesters gather during a rally at the Shinawatra building in central Bangkok on March 7, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS  

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's Constitutional Court was due to rule on Friday on the validity of a general election held in February that was disrupted by protesters, with speculation growing it could void the vote, adding to the political turmoil in the country.

The protests are the latest chapter in an eight-year crisis that pits Bangkok's middle class and royalist establishment against supporters of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled by the army in 2006 and lives in exile to avoid a jail term for graft.

Now in their fifth month, the protesters have shut government offices and at times blocked major thoroughfares in Bangkok to try to force Ms Yingluck out. Twenty-three people have died and hundreds have been injured in the violence.

The court complaint was brought by a law lecturer who argues among other things that the Feb 2 election was unconstitutional because voting did not take place in all areas on the same day.

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