Thailand prepares for crucial vote

Main opposition Puea Thai Party enjoys clear lead in polls over party of current prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.


    Thailand's rival political parties are wrapping up their campaigns on the eve of a hard-fought election considered crucial to the future of the kingdom after years of turbulence.

    Authorities say 170,000 police are to be deployed to protect polling stations for Sunday's 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, led by Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of the fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, enjoying a lead over the Democrat Party of Abhisit Vejjajiva, the current prime minister.

    Yingluck, a 44-year-old businesswoman, has seen a swift rise into the lead by tapping support in the rural north and northeast heartland where her brother remains popular five years after he was toppled in a coup.

    The Democrat Party has dismissed Yingluck as a political novice serving as a nominee to allow Thaksin to return from exile, where he lives to avoid a two-year jail term for corruption.

    Al Jazeera's Aela Callan reports from Khon Kaen in northern Thailand.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    From Cameroon to US-Mexico border: 'We saw corpses along the way'

    'We saw corpses along the way'

    Kombo Yannick is one of the many African asylum seekers braving the longer Latin America route to the US.