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Thailand protesters obstruct vote, 1 dead in violence

Bangkok: Anti-government demonstrators trying to derail Thailand's contentious general elections scheduled next week swarmed dozens of polling stations to stop advance voting Sunday, chaining them shut and preventing hundreds of thousands of people from casting
India TV News Desk January 26, 2014 16:27 IST
India TV News Desk
Bangkok: Anti-government demonstrators trying to derail Thailand's contentious general elections scheduled next week swarmed dozens of polling stations to stop advance voting Sunday, chaining them shut and preventing hundreds of thousands of people from casting ballots.

Street fights broke out in several parts of Bangkok. A protest faction leader was fatally shot in a confrontation near a polling station that also left 11 people wounded.

The chaos underscored the increasing powerlessness of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's democratically elected administration, which had called the Feb. 2 vote in a failed bid to ease months of street protests that have thrown the nation into crisis.

Police took no action to disperse the crowds, following longstanding government orders that appear aimed at avoiding violence that could trigger a military coup.

Although most polling stations in Bangkok and many in the opposition stronghold in the south were forced to close, voting proceeded largely unhindered in the rest of the country.