Army Chief orders tighter security on February 2 general election


BANGKOK, 31 January 2014, The Army Chief has ordered security tightened on February 2 for fear of clashes between anti-government protesters and voters. However, there may not be enough personals to secure all the places, especially on toll ways as requested by People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). 

According to Army spokesman. Col. Winthai Suvaree, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the Army C-in-C, has ordered all military officers to do their best to maintain peace and order. Security is to be heightened for the upcoming general election this Sunday in order to prevent clashes between those who want to cast their ballots and the PDRC’s protesters who want to derail the election.

The Army chief pressed on the importance of negotiation over violence, and ordered that no force or violence of any form should be used. Military officers will only be there to secure the premises around the election polls.

The Army Chief has also ordered military officers to ensure safety at polling stations in the 50 constituencies in Bangkok; army personnel in the provinces will also have to do the same for polling stations in their areas.

As to the PDRC’s request for patrol officers to secure toll ways near election polls at all times, it may not be possible due to the numbers of personnel required. However, the Army Chief promised that officers had already been assigned to various important spots including the top of buildings.