Thailand's Criminal Court on February 5 approved a request by police to issue arrest warrants for anti-government protest leaders, including former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thausuban, for violating the emergency decree.

One of the protest leaders, Sathit Wongnongthey, said that the protest leaders were not shaken by the warrants and will continue to organise rallies until the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra steps down.

The government issued a decree of emergency in late January to ensure order in the capital city and neighbouring areas, however, violence has kept escalating.

The same day, Thai Election Commission (EC) said that 46.79 percent of voters nationwide cast their ballots in February 2 general election.

According to the EC, as many as 20.1 million out of 43.024 million eligible voters exercised their voting rights in 68 provinces where voting was not disrupted by protesters, with 71.38 percent of those ballots valid, 12.05 percent invalid and 16.57 percent " no-vote".

Voting in nine provinces was cancelled due to shortage of ballots resulting from anti-government protesters' blockade and rallies.

The EC is scheduled to meet on February 6 to find solution to the disruption of the January 26 advance voting and voting in nine provinces during February 2 election, as well as to discuss the issue in 28 constituencies in the south where candidates were not registered due to obstruction by protesters.

In another move, the ruling Pheu Thai Party also on February 5 petitioned the EC to order the dissolution of the Democrat Party and ban its executive committee members from politics for five years.

Prompong Nopparit, spokesman of Pheu Thai, said the Democrat Party had violated the Constitution by supporting People's Democratic Reform Committee's rallies.-VNA