02 Jul '11, 4am

Thai election campaign nears end

Thai election campaign nears end

BANGKOK: Thailand's rival political camps launched a last-minute appeal for votes Saturday on the eve of a hard-fought election seen as crucial to the future of the kingdom after years of often bloody unrest. About 170,000 police are to be deployed to protect polling stations for the tense vote, which comes little more than a year after Bangkok was rocked by its worst civil violence in decades. Polls show the main opposition Puea Thai Party, allied to fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, enjoying a lead over current leader Abhisit Vejjajiva's ruling Democrats ahead of Sunday's election. The two main parties were wrapping up their campaigns on Saturday with election convoys through central Bangkok. Many voters were leaving the city to return to their hometowns to cast ballots. Thaksin, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and now lives in Dubai to escape a jail term for cor...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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