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Controversial Snap Election

Surapong: CMPO can keep order for Feb 2 election

The Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) will be able to deal with protesters and keep order on the election day next Sunday, its chief advisor said Monday.

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul was speaking to reporters after chairing the CMPO meeting. He is the chief adviser to the special body, which is in charge of enforcing the emergency decree.

He said if the Election Commission seeks help from the CMPO to keep law and order at polling stations, the body would be able to handle the situation.

"It won't be too tough for us to handle," Surapong said.

He said the EC did not seek help from police and troops to protect polling stations for advance voting on Sunday.

Advance voting at most polling stations in Bangkok and southern provinces were cancelled following sieges by protesters, prompting the EC to complain that it did not receive support from police and troops.

But Surapong said he had received explanations from Wibul Sanguanpong, permanent secretary to the Interior Ministry, and Gen Nipat Thonglek, permanent secretary to the Defence Ministry, that the EC had not sought special protection or special forces to deal with the protests.

"So only the normal number of police were deployed to guard polling stations," Surapong said.


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