UPDATE: PDRC Facebook page:

We would like to reiterate Kamnan Suthep Thaugsuban’s comments during his rally last night that the PDRC and supporters are simply protesting the advance polls held today by surrounding/standing in front of election units; we are not obstructing elections.

BP: Just like PAD didn’t close the airport…. They are disrupting the advance voting. Surrounding election units and not allowing officials and voters to enter is disrupting the election…

New York Times:

The protest leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, has pledged to obstruct the elections at all costs.

“The great mass of people will block it in every way,” he said Thursday night.

Advance voting begins Sunday, with about 2.2 million people registered to vote early, compared with 2.7 million in the last election in 2011.

Also, per the official English language PDRC Facebook page from Thursday night quoting Suthep:

The elections scheduled for 2 Feb. 2014 are never going to happen. The people don’t want to go to the polls. Provincial PDRC Units, please take note of this and prepare accordingly.

We are going to unseat this illegal government. We want reform before the next election. And we are going to fix the ineffective electoral laws so we have free, fair, and clean elections. We will no longer allow dirty politicians to buy their way to power and abuse the people. Do you hear us, Yingluck?

As for those who are concerned about what do on 2 Feb. 2014, don’t worry – we shall block every road to prevent any elections from taking place! We are going to topple this evil regime and reform Thailand before the next election!

Then on Friday, a change of position. The Nation:

Anti-government protests will not do anything to obstruct the advance voting this Sunday or the February 2 election, rally spokesman Akanat Promphan said Friday.

However they would continue their gatherings and demonstrations to convey their messages of opposing the idea of having election before political reform.

The decision was made after rally leader Suthep Thaugsuban met with core leaders of the seven rally sites last night.

Then on Saturday, Suthep stated per the official English language PDRC Facebook page:

Tomorrow please come out and protest the advance elections in a calm, peaceful manner. This is an important civic duty. Remember, we are simply campaigning to protest these advance polls, not obstructing them.

Also, per the PDRC Facebook post, on January 25, Satit W, a PDRC leader stated that they support opposing elections (เราจะออกรณรงค์คัดค้านการเลือกตั้ง) by using 1,000 bicycles (ใช้รถจักรยานกว่า 1,000 คัน) … with those bicycles there will be no intention to disrupt the advance voting, but just campaign so people understand reform before elections and they are not afraid to be accused of disrupting the election because they will not disrupt the people who are exercising their vote. If anyone disrupts then the police should take action immediately (โดยการปั่นจักรยานดังกล่าวไม่มีความประสงค์ที่จะขัดขวางการเลือกตั้งล่วงหน้า แต่เป็นการรณรงค์ให้ประชาชนเข้าใจถึงการปฏิรูปก่อนการเลือกตั้ง และไม่กลัวที่จะถูกกล่าวหาว่าขัดขวางการเลือกตั้งเพราะเขาจะไม่ขัดขวางการเข้าคูหาของประชาชนที่จะออกมาใช้สิทธิ์ หากใครขัดขวางก็ให้เจ้าหน้าที่ตำรวจดำเนินการได้ทันที)

BP: However, as per a ThaiPBS reporter:

BP: Movement again! Tomorrow, Kor Por Tor/NSPTR [militant wing of PDRC] will start their procession at 8am to disrupt the election…

เคลื่อนอีก! พรุ่งนี้ ม็อบคปท.เคลื่อนขบวนเดินเท้า 8โมง คัดค้านเลือกตั้ง  ตั้งขบวนแยกสนามม้านางเลิ้ง  / ไม่แจ้งปลายทางเหมือนทุกครั้ง

 

The Bangkok Post:

PDRC secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban said the demonstrators will show up at every polling station in Bangkok.

PDRC co-leader Thaworn Senneam said yesterday he would lead protesters to the polling booth at Bang Kapi to dissuade voters. Bang Kapi is known to be a support base of Pheu Thai.

The EC also named Bang Kapi and Bang Khun Thien districts as potential targets because of the large number of people registered for advance voting.


In Chumphon, about 200 supporters of the PDRC’s provincial branch surrounded the Border Patrol Police Sub-Division 41 in Muang district after they learned advance voting ballots were being kept there.

Sompol Polsomboonchoke, chairman of the provincial EC committee in charge of a polling station at the 1st constituency said he and the director of the polling station had resigned.

The protesters yesterday also called on Chumphon residents to camp at polling stations at the three constituencies.

Sombat Nuphak, head of Chumphon’s postal service centre, said advance voting ballots had been sent to election committees in Chumphon, Ranong, Phangnga and Phuket.

Ballots had not been sent to Surat Thani because local election committee had not yet been able to find a place to keep them.

In Ranong, the PDRC’s provincial branch yesterday put up a placard, ”Shut down Ranong until Yingluck resigns” in front of the provincial administration office, an advance voting station.

The Nation:

Dr Supapol Iammethawi, Nakhon Ratchasima’s PDRC chief, said he would mobilise more than 1,000 protesters to block advanced voting in the province.

BP: And now from this morning with some tweets (from earliest to latest):

Sunai of HRW:

A Thai journalist:

Sunai of HRW:

Sunai of HRW:

Sunai of HRW:

Sunai of HRW:

Thai Rath with some photos of PDRC protesters surrounding offices for advance voting

AP journalist:

Richard Barrow:

Richard again:

Kaewmala translates a Thai journalist’s tweet:

MCOT journalist tweets that a leader declares on stage in front of the school in Bang Kapi that if school director breaks their promise and allow election then he will have no place to work

Although, advance voting can be postponed for up to 7 days:

Kaewmala again with another translation:

Patrick Winn of Global Post:

Then Jonathan Head asks PDRC of their promise not block people from voting:

Fellow AC blogger Saksith translating a Thai Rath reporters’ tweet:

Saksith with details of the 9 districts:

BP: Unsurprisingly, PDRC have not kept to their word although no doubt they will say they weren’t disrupting the election, the reality is they are. Almost 90,000 people registered for advance voting in Bang Kapi… No doubt though Suthep will say PDRC haven’t been disrupting advance voting…