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February 2 Poll

Military concerned with possible violence in election

The armed forces are increasingly uneasy with the political climate and the escalating violence in Sunday's advance election, Royal Air Force Commander in Chief ACM Prachin Chantong said Tuesday.

He called on all factions to avoid violence on Feb 2 when the snap election is scheduled. The caretaker premier and the Election Commission (EC) will meet this afternoon to discuss whether the snap poll should be delayed. The EC has said that the situation was unfavourable for people to go to the polls.

Prachin said the air force is ready to support the EC, if asked. The armed forces have not made any proposal to the government, as they want the problems to be solved through a democratic process, he said, adding that an election is a tool to reach the goal of democracy but it should not create rifts in the country.

If the situation gets worse to a certain level, the supreme commander will summon commanders of the armed forces for consultations, he said. He was optimistic that the door to dialogue was not completely closed.

Referring to a request for military protection to protesters, ACM Prachin said the Royal Thai Air Force has not worked out protective measures due to its limited manpower and its requirement to act at the order of the Centre for Managing of Peace and Order.

"The armed forces have felt uneasy about the situation. The army chief has repeatedly expressed his concern," he said.


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