Thailand election candidates begin registration for March 24 polls

Political parties supporters holding election campaign banners attend the registration of candidates for constituency at Thai-Japanese stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, on Feb 4, 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BANGKOK, Feb 4, 2019, Nation. Politicians contesting Thailand’s March 24 legislative elections began registering their candidacy on Monday (Feb 4) in an exercise that will run through Friday, reported The Straits Times.

There was an energy in the air not felt since the last general election in 2014. However, the atmosphere was quieter than in the past as the Election Commission banned candidates from organising colourful parades, The Nation reported.

While Thailand has 350 constituencies, attention will focus on Bangkok where the battle for 30 House of Representatives seats at stake is expected to be fierce.

Candidates in the capital arrived at the registration centre at the Thai-Japanese Stadium in Din Daeng in the early hours to join the queue to draw their candidate numbers. Each candidate will have his or her own number, unlike in previous polls where candidates in the same party used the same number for campaigning.

The five-day registration period will end on Friday.

The March 24 election will be the first since the military seized power in 2014, an intervention that unseated a Pheu Thai-led administration headed by Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thaksin or his allies have won every election dating back to 2001, only to be dislodged by the courts or the military.

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