The vote in Thailand is taking place tomorrow with or without the protesters’ approval, but the residents of Bangkok expect that the opposition will violate human rights and instigate extreme violence. Bangkok, the capital has been transformed into a battlefield between the people who wish to vote and the Democrat Party that wants to boycott Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s new term.
Tomorrow’s Thailand vote is expected to bring the violation of human rights and instigate extreme violence as the Democrat Party uses protesters’ force to prevent people from voting. Violent acts began in November 2013 and are expected to continue after the vote on February 2. Erawan Medical Center announced that ten people were declared dead in the aftermath of altercations between the government and Democrat Party and over 577 were wounded, but the police has already taken precautions and prepared to deploy 100,000 officers across the country. The army has 5,000 soldiers ready to defend Bangkok from protesters and the United Nations in Thailand asks for a peaceful vote.
Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban promises to provide a peaceful blockade of Bangkok roads, but the violence acts which surrounded the city in the last months have led the government to declare state of emergency and even issue an arrest warrant for Thaugsuban and others. Police captain Chalerm Yubamrung mentioned that Tuesday might be the day when the protesters’ leader will be taken into police custody, no matter when the document will be put into function.
“Suthep has refused to negotiate with us so we don’t know what else to do,” Chalerm said.
The Opposition’s Demands
The protesters demand the government to be replaced by an unelected council that can implement electoral and political reforms in order to combat corruption and money politics. Last weekend they camped out at important intersections across Bangkok and forced 49 out of 50 districts to shut down the polling stations. Some voters were pulled away from the polling booths, a gesture which convinced Bangkok residents to utter that the Thailand vote violates human rights and instigates extreme violence.
People who wish to vote have already taken the matter in their own hands, following last week’s occurrences, when 100 protesters blocked the polling location’s entrance in Lat Krabang with a truck. An unnamed source reveals the fact that protesters dared the people to vote if they could, moment in which residents started a fight. The deputy commander of the local police station, Lieutenant Colonel Sayan Petyeunyong painted a picture of what happened in Lat Krabang last week.
“When they arrived they were very loud,” Colonel Sayan said. “But when they left, they were scared and very quiet.”
Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban is certain that after the vote, “people will be filing lawsuits for the election to be voided immediately,” but no matter the outcome of tomorrow, Yingluck will not be able to form a government or pass a budget, because the parliament will not have enough members to assemble. Therefore, Thailand will be stranded in political limbo for undetermined period as constituencies that could not vote cannot run by-elections.
People who want to vote have mobilized on the streets of Bangkok in order to stop the protesters from boycotting the elections. If the latter uses force to prevent the residents from expressing their opinion, Thailand vote could violate human rights and instigate extreme violence against the inhabitants of the same country. Over 90,000 polling locations will be open tomorrow and while authorities expect little to no disturbance, the army is ready to intervene.
By Gabriela Motroc