Expatriate Thais will vote at the nearest embassy or consulate in their countries of residence between March 4-16. (Photo: bangkokpost.com)

Bangkok (VNA) - More than 1.5 million people have registered for advance voting ahead of the March 24 general election in Thailand while 85,000 people officially signed up as overseas voters, Thailand’s Election Commission (EC) Secretary General Jarungvith Phumma said. 

Overseas Thai voters can cast their ballots at the nearest headquarters of Thai embassies or consulate generals in host countries from March 4-16, according to Jarungvith.

Voters began registering on Jan 28 and February 19 was the last day to register. Besides, they were able to register online until midnight of February 19. 

Jarungvith said the EC could not extend the deadline as it needed time to calculate the exact numbers in order to determine how many polling stations would be needed for early voting. 

More voters have registered this year than ahead of the last election, he noted. 

The election will be the first in the Southeast Asian nation since the military coup in 2014.

A total of 500 MPs will be elected, including 350 MPs for individual constituencies and 150 others on the party list.

Earlier this month, a total of 11,181 people had applied to run as candidates in individual constituencies. Of them, 389 candidates have been disqualified, according to the EC.

Meanwhile, 68 candidates have been verified by the polling agency to run for the post of prime minister, including Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who had been named by the Palang Pracharath Party, and former PM and Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva.          -VNA