CityNews – Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul has stated he will ask the Royal Thai Army to help secure registration processes around the country that began on Saturday, 28th December 2013.
In a nationwide televised address, Mr Tovichakchaikul said, “I will also ask the military to provide security protection for members of the public on the February 2nd election date.”
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has said the military will be required to keep the order should anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban attempt to “shut down” Bangkok, as he has previously promised. She has also requested that the army chief hold a meeting with Mr Thaugsuban, or orchestrate a meeting between herself and the protest leader. She also asked if military leaders would be interested in joining a proposed political reform assembly.
Army Commander Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha doesn’t seem eager to use the army as a back-up for police. The Royal Thai Army suffered a severe backlash over its role in the 2010 political unrest.
The PDRC protesters have vowed to sabotage the February elections, saying it will only return Thaksin’s allies to power, and believe the results will be determined with “vote buying”. They plan to lock down Bangkok, sending a message to PM Shinawatra that Thais want peaceful national reform along with her resignation.