Thailand’s Election Commission said it would hold elections in April in areas where voting was disrupted by antigovernment protesters, likely delaying a new government from being formed until at least May to tackle high-stakes matters. The makeup voting will be on April 20 and April 27 in parts of the capital and more than a dozen provinces after protester blockades there prompted election officials to call off the Feb. 2 polls, Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, an election commissioner, said at a news conference on Tuesday. Thailand’s economic growth in 2014 will be affected by how long the protests go on and how long it takes to form a new government, a senior economist at the World Bank’s Bangkok office said Tuesday. The Bank of Thailand expects the country’s economy to expand 3%, down from the 4% target the bank had forecast in November.
The general election on Feb. 2 went smoothly in the country’s north and northeast regions, strongholds of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. However, 11% of the voting in electoral districts was obstructed by Ms. Yingluck’s opponents, who have held street demonstrations since November to try to topple her from office.
Protesters said they want to rid Thailand’s political scene of the influence of Ms. Yingluck’s elder brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup. Mr. Thaksin has been living in self-imposed exile over the past six years to avoid corruption charges that he said were politically motivated, but he remains popular in rural Thailand thanks to his populist policy targeted at the poor.
Full Article: Thailand Sets Voting for Areas Previously Blocked – WSJ.com.