UDD referendum fraud centres stopped by police

UDD referendum fraud centres stopped by police

Police officers have been deployed to prevent the red-shirt members from launching its system of centres designed to monitor fraud in the Aug 7 referendum. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Police officers have been deployed to prevent the red-shirt members from launching its system of centres designed to monitor fraud in the Aug 7 referendum. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Police have been deployed all around Imperial Lat Phra department store to prevent the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship from launching its system of provincial centres designed to monitor fraud in the Aug 7 referendum, media reports said.

The UDD earlier this month launched its main fraud investigation centre at Imperial Lat Phra to monitor referendum fraud and was scheduled to launch its provincial centres on Sunday morning, even though the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) had threatened to take legal action against it.

Police from Chokchai station under Metropolitan Police Division 4 arrived at the department store at about 9am and set up a forward operations headquarters there.

A number of anti-riot police were reportedly deployed to block all gates and entrances to the mall. A vehicle to hold detained suspects was also brought to the store.

Naewna Online reported that the police put up a sign in front of the office of the UDD's Peace TV. The sign read: "Announcement. This is not a referendum fraud monitoring centre". The office of Peace TV had been used as the UDD's main fraud-monitoring centre.

Red-shirt supporters of the UDD, who were waiting there for the opening, were told to leave the area.

Pol Maj Gen Nanthachart Supamongkol, commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 4, negotiated with UDD leaders, but did not reveal the result of the talks.

UDD leaders were reportedly told to call off a planned press conference on the launch of the provincial anti-fraud centres and live telecast of the event.

Jatuporn Prompan, the UDD chairman, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is also NCPO chairman, had reversed his earlier remarks about the anti-fraud centres.

Mr Jatuporn said Gen Prayut had said on three occasions that the opening of UDD anti-fraud centres was not against the law although he disapproved of them. But after his return from a visit to India, Gen Prayut said this could not done, he added.

He said Gen Prayut had lost his credibility by retracting his words.

"In deploying police at Imperial Lat Phrao department store today the NCPO can take over the place and pull down the centre's sign. But the people will continue with their mission toward democracy without fear," said Mr Jatuporn.

Mr Jatuporn said the telephone numbers of the UDD anti-fraud centre would now become the focal point for fraud complaints. The complaints would be revealed to the people and fowarded to the Election Commission for further action.

The UDD would also submit a petition concerning this matter to the United Nations on Monday, he added.

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