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Monday, May 21, 2012

Military and Police

In Indonesia, any religious leaders can cast a vote. However the police and the army can’t vote. In Thailand it is the opposite. The police and the army can vote, but the Buddhist leaders like monks and novices can’t vote because they have strong influence in Thailand.

The provinces I observed are safe in security term, although in 2007 Songkhla and Satun provinces were under Martial Law. This time the three districts of Songkhla, Chana, Natawee and Thepa are under ISOC (Internal Security Operation Commando, because their border meets directly with provinces borders of Yala and Pattani. Some small barracks and military camps located in Songkhla, especially in those 3 districts.

The soldiers are heading to the tents to find out their respecitive polling stations. Location : Prem Tinsulanond Stadion, Songkhla City, Songkhla Province, South Thailand.  

Although the military and the police denied that they had special security arrangement regarding the election, except deployment of some security officers in each polling site. But they constantly observe the progress day by day especially the 3 provinces of Deep South. 

The police and army vote on Advance Voting, because they should work on Election Day. In advance voting many police and army come to vote while carrying long weapon, even inside the polling sites. According to the international convention, polling sites should be clean and free from gun.

Note :
  1. The author is International Election Observer in some countries in Asia, incl. Thailand Parliamentary Election, 3rd July 2011.
  2. In Indonesia, she is the Head of Foreign Affairs Department, member of KIPP Indonesia since 1998.
  3. This article is published in The Global Review, too.

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