Tight security for Shinawatra family

The caretaker government provided extra tight security at polling units in Bangkok where the Shinawatra family travelled to cast their ballots yesterday. No confrontations between anti-government protesters and government supporters took place at those places.

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra left home early in the morning from Soi Yothin Pattana 3 on Ramintra-Ekamai Road in Bung Kum district. Her residence was also heavily guarded. Ms Yingluck travelled in a bullet-proof van to a polling station in Khlong Lamchiak School on Prasert Manukitch Road in Bung Kum district.

Soldiers and both plainclothes and uniformed police were deployed to guard the polling station. After casting her vote, she urged all eligible voters to exercise their right to do the same.

Former prime minister Thaksin's ex-wife, Khunying Potjaman Damapong spent three minutes casting her vote at a polling station in Setsathien School on Rama V Road in Dusit district.

Her son Panthongtae _ wearing a shirt bearing the words ''respect my vote'' _ and sisters Pinthongta and Paethongtan cast their ballots at a polling station in Pimolwit School on Charan Sanitwong Road in Bang Phlat district.

Mrs Potjaman and her children voted amid extra tight security at the polling units.

However, former police chief Priewpan Damapong, Khunying Potjaman's elder brother, did not turn up at a polling station at Lak Si district because local election commissioners had resigned from their positions due to chaos on Saturday, closing all polling stations in the district yesterday.

National police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew and four top brass figures including Supreme Commander Gen Tanasak Patimapragorn, army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, navy chief Adm Narong Pipattanasai and air force chief ACM Prajin Juntong also turned up at polling stations to cast their votes.

Gen Prayuth forgot to bring his identification card to the polling unit on Rama VI Road of Phaya Thai district.

ACM Prajin said elections are one of the best ways out of the political turmoil but he wants all sides to seek a peaceful resolution.

He said that the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) has the right to stage a peaceful protest even though the election is finished.

Other prominent figures including politicians also turned up to cast their ballots in Bangkok. Rak Thailand Party leader Chuwit Kamolvisit was attacked by a man while on the way to vote at a polling unit in Din Daeng district. The man was apprehended by Mr Chuvit's guards. He suffered a head injury and then fled on a motorcycle.

Bhumjaithai Party leader Anuthin Charnveerakul voted at a polling station in Bang Phli district in Samut Prakan. He said he came out to exercise his democratic rights and hoped violence would end soon.

Bangkok governor M R Sukhumbhand Paribatra did not vote yesterday at a polling station on Si Ayutthaya Road in Ratchathawi district because the Election Commission decided to cancel voting at polling stations in the district.

PDRC protesters yesterday blocked the district office to prevent election commission staff from bringing out ballot boxes and papers to polling units in the area.

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