Thai PM's Party Surprised by Bangkok Protest Vote: Official

"The party was surprised by the massive protest vote in Bangkok," Thai Rak Thai party official Suranand Vejjajiva told reporters.

Thai election officials start counting ballot papers at the National Stadium in Bangkok, 02 April 2006 (AFP Photo)

"In our meeting, we will discuss the possible reasons why there were a lot of 'no votes' in Bangkok, and why sentiment among city residents has turned against the party," he said.

With many seats uncontested, more voters in Bangkok chose to check a "no vote" box than to vote for Thaksin's party, according to a partial count.

Mr.Thaksin's party had carried 32 of the 36 seats in Bangkok in the last general election just 14 months ago.

"The protest vote, or 'no votes' will be a question for us as we ponder our next move. The government wants to be a government for the entire country, not just part of the country," Suranand said.

The strong protest vote in Bangkok and the south could pose a challenge to Thaksin's hopes of staying in office and ending the protests that have rattled the capital for two months.

 Source: AFP

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