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Wounded red-shirt gets a big police guard en-route to ballot box

Red-shirt hardliner Kwanchai Praipana was carried in on a stretcher to cast a vote in Udon Thani yesterday amid thick security.

The core red-shirt leader survived a gun attack last month after an unknown number of assailants fired a hail of bullets at him while he was reading a newspaper at a radio station in his hometown in the far Northeast.

Kwanchai has played a leading role in mobilising government supporters under the umbrella of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).

More than 10 armed police from Udon Thani Muang district station led a motorcade to ensure security for Kwanchai, who was also protected by more than 20 guards of Khon Rak Udon Club.

The red-shirt leader drew attention from the public, as well as local and international media, which covered his mission to vote. He had to be helped to get out of the stretcher to get into the polling booth.

He said part of his "fight" for democracy was to have an election across the country and he wanted to see the country move forward. He said he felt ashamed that the poll could not be held in many areas, including Bangkok, because of "hooligans instigating turmoil".


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