ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Govt persistent on discouraging protesters against disrupting election
BANGKOK, Jan 29 – A senior police officer was today assigned to hold talks with protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban to discourage him from instigating protesters to seize polling stations during Sunday’s general election.
Tarit Pengdith, director general of the Department of Special Investigation, said the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) appointed Assistant National Police chief Chakthip Chaichinda to negotiate with Mr Suthep in an open forum on Friday.
Mr Suthep, who has led anti-government movement for the last three months, is self-appointed secretary general of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).
Mr Tarit, concurrently CMPO secretary, said CMPO members agreed that state offices which have been occupied by PDRC protesters must reopen on Monday with the help of government, police and military personnel.
He said the DSI will compile more evidence to substantiate a request for warrants to arrest 16 protest leaders under the Emergency Decree. The Criminal Court yesterday rejected the DSI’s request for arrest warrants.
He said the National Police Bureau will take legal action against five non-Thai citizens among the protest leaders, including Sathit Segal, a businessman who has led protesters on Silom Road.
Mr Tarit said the CMPO has set up an ad hoc committee, led by secretary general of the Anti-Money Laundering Office Sihanart Prayoonrat, to work out measures to confiscate the assets of protest supporters.
Meanwhile, City Clerk Ninnart Chalitanond said it is the individual right of the chiefs of all 50 Bangkok districts who contemplated resigning as chairpersons of election constituencies citywide to do so.
Fifty district chiefs have informed her of their desire to leave their posts and three--from Yannawa, Bang Ko Laem and Bangkapi--have officially submitted their resignations.
Ms Ninnart said the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has asked the CMPO for updated information on security measures at polling stations and requested explanations by tomorrow.
“Safety is our priority. The Election Commission is responsible for finding personnel to replace those resigning. The people in charge must be knowledgeable about the election law,” she said.
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