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PCAD protesters crash election forum

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PCAD Protesters Crash Election Forum
By Khaosod English

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Anti-government leader Buddha Issara as he arrives at the PCAD protest outside the EC's election meeting with political parties on 22 April 2014.

BANGKOK — Hundreds of anti-government protesters are demonstrating outside the hotel where representatives of various political parties are meeting for a talk on Thailand's future election.

The meeting was organised by the Election Commission (EC) to discuss details of the country’s next election, following the Constitutional Court's invalidation of the previous general election on 2 February.

More than 60 political parties were invited to the forum, held at Miracle Grand Hotel in Laksi district, including the ruling Pheu Thai Party and the opposition Democrat Party, which boycotted the previous election.

Democrat Party chairman Abhisit Vejjajiva declined to attend the meeting at the last minute, citing security concerns.

Despite orders from the Centre for Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), the EC did not broadcast the meeting live on state-owned television channels 9, 11, and Thai PBS.

Secretary-general of the EC Mr. Puchong Nutrawong explained that the EC has never allowed the media to broadcast EC-held public meeting that concern elections.

Mr. Puchong said a live broadcast of the event may inflame the already delicate situation, as the meeting will certainly involve heated exchanges between party representatives.

"I think it will be more negative than positive," the EC sec-gen told reporters, adding that the EC has already eased its regulation by allowing journalists to be present at the meeting.

When asked whether the decision not to broadcast the meeting can be seen as a "slap" to CAPO, Mr. Puchong replied that all EC activities must be decided solely by the EC, and denied that the gesture is hostile towards the government in any way.

Mr. Puchong also asked the party representatives not to bring any firearms into the forum.

"Pen and notebook are enough," Mr. Puchong said.

Shortly after the meeting began, a large motorised convoy of protesters led by the People's Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As Head of State (PCAD) arrived at the hotel and proceeded to block some sections of Kampaengpetch Road to voice their opposition to the plan for another election.

PCAD has insisted that an unelected "People's Council" be established to implement series of reforms before any election is held.

The PCAD protesters were led by the Buddhist activist monk, Buddha Issara.

At the hotel, Mr. Puchong allowed a number of PCAD activists to enter the meeting hall and hang banners bearing anti-election slogans.

Source: http://en.khaosod.co.th/detail.php?newsid=1398154374&section=11&typecate=06

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-- Khaosod English 2014-04-22

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Let me guess - Royal Thai Police conspicuous by their absence again. Far easier to spend time on making sure bars will close at 1:00 am.

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Abhisit was right then, security WAS a concern, again . . .

Good to see the EC ignoring CAPO and putting them back in their place, i.e. nothing you've said so far has ANYTHING to do with maintaining peace and order, merely instructions/orders/demands/threats/intimidation from Thaksin.

Bad to see PCAD disrupting a process that "should" (in theory) allow the country to "move forward" somewhat . . .

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" Mr. Puchong also asked the party representatives not to bring any firearms into the forum. "

Well, they seem to be off to a rip-roaring start. What a shame to have arbitrarily disallowed the televised broadcast of it, at the last minute. Why didn't we hear about EC's edict yesterday ? And how in the world is allowing reporters in considered a concession in this day and age ? So this meeting is already off to a bad start simply because - the public has been blocked out and doesn't get to witness any of their future representatives or what they'll say.

Khaosod - " crashing " an event is barging into it. PDRC were outside the hotel. " Some " members were " allowed in " - that's " allowed " with an " a ", Khaosod. There is no resemblance to the word " crash ". It also, by the way, has a different meaning. They were allowed to hang up some slogans. No reports of the meeting being disrupted in any way. And incidentally, Khaosod, the Thai public were barred from the event, as well. Perhaps that's more upsetting. As a result, I suppose, we will be left with Khaosod to get the real truth to us from behind the curtains. One can hardly wait. This is quite symbolic, actually. The Thai public is thirsting for information, and the future is being discussed behind closed doors. Big surprise.

Not a good start Abhisit not present , no broadcast on TV , not a good look at all., perhaps that old adage is true Scamper, keep em in the dark like Mushrooms and feed them BullS!!t.

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It seems doing guerrilla warfare tactic which bring the country back forward and really hurt the economy.

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So Abhitsit is scared of the PCAD or the monk? He is once again showing is true colors. Afraid he may upset Uncle Suthep at the last minute. This man can not lead sheep to water no least a political party.

abhisit reminds me of that old saying about the teacher asking the schoolboy to give him a sentence containing the word horticulture. This is what he come up with;

You can lead a whore to culture but you can't make her him think

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I tend to agree that broadcasting a heated debate could be more bad than good at this point. The public needs the facts, for sure, but the last thing we need is fuel to dump on the fire of violence and division.

But I do not agree with letting PCAD protestors in to the meeting area. That is showing favoritism to one side and is counter productive to the goal of the meeting. The protestors are welcome to protest in front of the hotel and not interfere.

but secret backroom agreement would be also worse than having it transparent on TV.

If you must make the discussion about elections top secret than the democracy is already dead.....

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