Thailand's anti-government protesters on January 26 disrupted advance voting ahead of the February 2 general election in the capital Bangkok and several southern provinces, the country’s Nation newspaper has reported.

In Thailand, advance voting opens one week prior to the main day of polling and is designed for those who are unable to participate on February 2.

An estimated 49 million of the country’s population of 64 million are eligible to vote and 2.16 million registered to participate in the advanced voting on January 26.

However, at least 16 polling stations in Bangkok stopped distributing ballot papers with protesters blocking the entrances to the facilities, despite the government earlier warning that any such behavior would be illegal.

The demonstrators are a nti-government activists who want Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down and the political system to undertake severe reform.

In 15 southern provinces, most people have been unable to cast a vote while the polling in north, northeast and central Thailand has been going smoothly.

On January 25, the Thai Election Commision (EC) decided that the advance voting for the Febuary 2 election could go ahead as scheduled, despite uncertainty over whether polling will be able to take place next week.

The country’s Constitutional Court on January 24 ruled the Febuary 2 election can be deferred in a bid to ease tensions and handed the ultimate decision to the EC and the government, with judges suggesting that Prime Minister Yingluck and election commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn reach a decision quickly.

The EC will meet with the PM on January 28 to discuss the postponement, according to caretaker Deputy PM Phongthep Thepkanjana. However, the specific time and venue of the meeting remains unknown.

The EC has previously pushed for a postponement, arguing that it is impossible to organise a successful and safe election in the current climate of demonstrations and escalating violence.

Meanwhile, the Thai Government, which imposed a state of emergency to calm the situation, has accepted the verdict of the court.

Under the current constitution, the February 2 election may be delayed by 45-60 days. However, the EC wants a delay of six months to fully prepare.-VNA