Thailand to deploy 100,000 police for general electionJune 7th, 2011 - 9:45 pm ICT by BNO News
BANGKOK (BNO NEWS) — Thailand’s National Police Bureau announced on Tuesday that it will deploy 100,000 officers to polling stations nationwide for its July 3 general election, MCOT Online news reported.
National police chief Gen Wichean Potephosree, in his capacity as director of the general election centre, said the 100,000 police would be deployed at more than 90,000 polling stations to provide security and maintain law and order.
More than 250 candidates have requested police protection for fear that they may be targets for attack. Two uniformed policemen will offer round-the-clock surveillance to each candidate who has requested police protection.
Meanwhile, the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) said 60 volunteers from 24 countries will be dispatched to 77 provinces to monitor the situation ahead of the July 3 election. Some 30 volunteers began working on Tuesday to guarantee a free and fair election.
ANFREL director Somsri Harnananthasuk said he was worried over the violence occurring daily, including the destruction of campaign posters. Until now, 1,057 campaign posters have been defaced or trashed.
Thailand will hold a general election on July 3, after the king endorsed a royal decree to dissolve the lower house of parliament last month.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has encountered both political conflicts and economic problems during its tenure. Last year, the Red-shirt supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship held a 69-day demonstration in an effort to topple his government. Protesters clashed with police, leaving 92 dead and more than a thousand injured.
This is the 12th Thai government that ends with the dissolution of the House. The last dissolution took place in 2006 when fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra announced the move following the pressure from the yellow-clad People’s Alliance for Democracy.
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Tags: abhisit vejjajiva, asian network, bno, campaign posters, defaced, dissolution, economic problems, election centre, free elections, house of parliament, law and order, national police, police bureau, police protection, political conflicts, polling stations, royal decree, thai government, thaksin shinawatra, united front