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Bangkok Shutdown: Thailand set for advance voting despite rally disruption

Published on Jan 26, 2014 6:11 AM
 
Anti-government protesters carry a large national flag as they march through Bangkok's shopping district Jan 25, 2014. Thai voters are due to cast advanced ballots on Sunday despite plans by opposition demonstrators to surround polling stations and uncertainty over whether controversial elections will ultimately go ahead. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thai voters are due to cast advanced ballots on Sunday despite plans by opposition demonstrators to surround polling stations and uncertainty over whether controversial elections will ultimately go ahead.

Over two million people are registered for the advanced vote ahead of the February 2 election, which was called by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in an attempt to defuse rising political tensions after weeks of mass anti-government protests.

Demonstrators, who have staged a near two-week so-called "shutdown" of the Thai capital in an effort to derail the vote, have rejected the election and vowed to congregate around polling stations.

They want to topple the government and install an unelected "people's council" to implement loosely-defined reforms that they hope would rid Thailand of the influence of ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra - Ms Yingluck's older brother.

 
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