Military sites tipped for poll registration

The caretaker government has proposed using police or military facilities as sites to register candidates for the Feb 2 election in eight southern provinces where protests have disrupted registration attempts so far.

However, the head of the Election Commission is wary, believing such a move could further anger anti-government protesters. Somchai Srisutthiyakorn says he prefers to use buildings belonging to civilians where possible.

The proposal to use police and army properties emerged during a meeting on Monday between representatives of the caretaker government and members of the Election Commission at the Chaeng Watthana government complex.

MP candidate registration has been blocked in 38 constituencies in eight southern provinces: Nakhon Si Thammarat, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Krabi, Trang, Songkhla, Phuket and Phatthalung.

All of the provinces are strongholds of the opposition Democrat Party, which is boycotting the Feb 2 poll.

The government side at Monday's meeting was led by caretaker Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul. Also attending were National Security Council (NSC) chief Paradorn Pattanatabut and national police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew.

Mr Surapong said the caretaker government and security agencies had suggested that the EC opt to use venues under the supervision of police stations or military agencies for election registration.

He stressed it was only a recommendation and that the final decision was up to the EC.

Mr Somchai said he had directed election directors of the 38 affected constituencies to use places that belong to civilians if they decide to change the registration venues.

He said he feared the use of police and military-controlled areas could provoke protesters and lead to possible confrontations if they continue their efforts to besiege registration venues.

"Of course the soldiers or police officers must protect their venues and property and will not let anybody in," he said. "If the protesters show up, I am afraid this will cause the situation to escalate further."

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 01/01/2014 at 05:29 PM
My view is simple. Any party that is a proxy of a convicted criminal, unelected, should be immediately disbanded and those who are executives or MPs banned for 5 years and this should continue until there is no one left in this democracy willing to take orders and money from the fugitive.only then will we have a proper democracy.
Discussion 2 : 31/12/2013 at 01:53 PM
Because the military shouldn't be seen to be taking sides. It's up to the police to maintain law and order.
Discussion 3 : 31/12/2013 at 08:09 AM
Why would EC reject the proposal using police or military facilities to register? I thought common sense tells me that is the best place to be on top of any problems should they occur.
Discussion 4 : 31/12/2013 at 07:20 AM
Which evil family are you talking about?
Discussion 5 : 31/12/2013 at 07:06 AM
A dialogue with YS... You must be kidding...
Discussion 6 : 31/12/2013 at 05:03 AM
My view is simple. Time for a different party from the Democrates to be the new government or at least a decent opposition and let the currupt democrates go, who support the current minority preventing constitutional democracy and also do not provide candidates for their supporters to vote for. So their supporters need another party more worthy of their vote. Please allow for this party to rise up and allow Thailand to come to a new era of democracy.
Discussion 7 : 31/12/2013 at 04:46 AM
At what point do people stop blaming Thaksin for all of the Kingdom's woes? Name one person who is not corrupt in Thai politics.
Discussion 8 : 31/12/2013 at 03:12 AM
Is it not insane to speak of something the authorities do "provoking" the rioters? The sunrise provokes them; a falling leaf provokes them. If you need to protect the people going about their legal duties using military bases, it's not the fault of the government. It's the fault of the rioters who choose violence to achieve their ends. There seems to be a strong feeling that violence on the part of the rioters is OK but any force used by the authorities is horrendous.
Discussion 9 : 31/12/2013 at 02:51 AM
This evil family has caused what happened to our country in the current state.
Discussion 10 : 31/12/2013 at 02:51 AM
Many people are being deceived by the Suthep confounded delusion that TS still actively involves in current government. Since Suthep is conspicuously wanting to take the opportunity to kick out Yingluck from Thai politic by application of his compounded illusion of TS existing influence vividly infiltrated into current government as excuses to tarnish Yingluck and her cabinet members. Thai political circumstances approves opposition protest to besiege government offices and other public building in order to pressure the government to take the dive. This definitely gives Suthep a chance to pronounce victory if he hides at rear. Thai is ruined.
Discussion 11 : 31/12/2013 at 01:23 AM
The army chief had already voiced neutrality at the previous meeting with Suthep Thaugsuban, did not object to the snap election to be held on February 2, and had further assured the ballot would be under close scrutiny to ensure free and fair elections. Much have been said about democracy reform, Yingluck and her team are willing to have a dialogue with Suthep about the issues to be resolved. According to the news, the army chief has all along urged both sides to negotiate. Who is at fault here?
Discussion 12 : 30/12/2013 at 11:32 PM
Agreed. If Thaksin cannot control the reform committee then the corrupt way he can hold power is in jeopardy. They will push these elections through no matter what. It is a complete farce of course if the main opposition refuse to participate until the reforms are in place. Nobody will accept the result and things will get much worse.
Discussion 13 : 30/12/2013 at 09:21 PM
I for one certainly hope that your vision is true. This country has had enough of this family to last a century or two.
Discussion 14 : 30/12/2013 at 08:48 PM
The Thaksin regime are desperate for the election to proceed, they will force it through if necessary, they know if the election does not go ahead, their survival is in doubt. The election can not happen, the protests are not going to stop, they will just get bigger and more intense, the era of the Shinawatras is soon at an end.

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