Thousands of Thais queue up to cast early vote

Voters waiting outside the Banbangkapi High School in Bangkok to cast early votes yesterday, a week ahead of Thailand's first general election since a military coup in 2014. Queues had started to form as early as 6am, two hours before voting commence
Voters waiting outside the Banbangkapi High School in Bangkok to cast early votes yesterday, a week ahead of Thailand's first general election since a military coup in 2014. Queues had started to form as early as 6am, two hours before voting commenced.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Hundreds of thousands of voters across Thailand flocked to schools and temples yesterday to cast early ballots, a week ahead of the country's first general election since a military coup in 2014.

Altogether, 80 parties are contesting 500 seats in the legislature. Around 2.6 million of more than 51 million eligible voters have registered to vote outside their home constituencies. They include over 928,000 who will cast their votes at 58 polling stations in Bangkok.

In the capital's Bangkapi district, which recorded the highest number of registered early voters, queues started to form as early as 6am, two hours before voting commenced.

First-time voter Naree Wangwan, 24, was the first in line at Banbangkapi High School, which has been turned into a polling station.

"I was so excited I woke up at 4am to take the bus and avoid the traffic jam," the trainee teacher said.

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2019, with the headline 'Thousands of Thais queue up to cast early vote'. Print Edition | Subscribe