Protest leader refuses to talk with govt


BANGKOK, Jan 31 – The anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) today rejected having talks with the caretaker government as they marched in the capital to drum up support for their campaign to boycott Sunday’s election.

PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban led his supporters marching along Ratchadapisek Road, the second day of the group’s campaign urging people to reject Sunday’s election.

He was greeted by cheerful crowds who gathered along the route to show their support for the movement.

Mr Suthep announced that he would not join any talks with the caretaker government as he was busy leading the anti-government rally.

Meanwhile, national police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew said 130,000 police will be deployed across the country, combined with 27 companies of army personnel, to maintain peace and order during the upcoming election.

He said the high-risk areas were in Bangkok, supervised by Metropolitan Police Divisions 7, 8 and 9 as the protesters are likely to come out to disrupt the election.

The police will facilitate holding the general election and act to reduce confrontations between conflicting parties.

He added the Army Region 4 will supervise the transportation of ballot boxes to the polling stations in the southern region.

Police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo said police will be deployed in 93,533 polling stations nationwide on Feb 2. Personnel from the three armed forces will also reinforce police operations.

He said security personnel will be divided into two groups. The first group comprises rapid response units operating under the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) covering areas under a state of emergency including Bangkok, Pathum Thani’s  Lad Lum Kaew district and Samut Prakan’s Bang Phli district.

The other group are police patrolling units have been assigned to ensure safety in designated areas since Friday afternoon.