The Thai Election Commission (EC) still cannot recruit the 140,000 officials needed to supervise the vote process in 15 southern provinces during the general election scheduled for February 2, the commission’s General Secretary Puchong Nutrawong said on January 16.

Puchong said that the EC has invoked Article 20 of the Election Act to ask for help from Government agencies by sending their staff to serve as election officials.

The commission is also facing another problem finding voting venues, he added.

Regarding the election in Bangkok where there will be about 6,000 polling stations , Puchong said the EC will seek help from the municipal administration, the Education Ministry and the armed forces.

Earlier on Jan. 15, participants at a special forum organised by the government agreed to hold the elections on February 2 as schedule. Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said at the forum that an election is the best way to solve the current political crisis.

Meanwhile, on January 16 and the fourth day of demonstrators’ “Bangkok Shutdown” campaign, anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban announced that they will blockade all State agencies still operating by the end of this week.

The campaign is scheduled to last for 20 days, with the aim to stop the upcoming general election.

Since the anti-government demonstration wave broke out in Thailand on October 31, eight people have been killed and many others injured.

In another related development, Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said he had asked the police to quickly arrest Suthep and his aides to prevent the country from falling into anarchy.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the opposition Democratic Party (DP) said the party will not join in the government’s efforts to seek solutions to the political crisis unless the culprit of the bombing of DP President Abhisit Vejjajiva’s residence is arrested.-VNA