July 3 - Polls are open in Thailand for the general election, candidates vote early. Julie Noce reports.
Polls are open in Thailand for the general election, candidates vote early. Polling stations in Thailand opened Sunday morning for voters to cast their ballots in the country's general elections. Amongst the 42 parties -- the two most watched are incumbent Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva representing the Democrat Party, and Puea Thai party candidate Yingluck Shinawatra. Yingluck, the sister of ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra stood in line with other voters, before dropping her ballot into the box. A few hours later, Abhisit arrived at his polling station, also thronged by media. Both candidates are running on populist platforms calling for more jobs and better infrastructure. For voters themselves, demands seem fairly basic. . (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) BANGKOK RESIDENT AMPAI RUNGRUENGPALANGKUL, SAYING: "If we could get a good person, I'm sure that there will be change in our country. Also in the morning, a platoon of soldiers turned up to cast their votes. Officially, the armed forces are politically neutral and senior officers have insisted they will respect the election results. But the military have previously staged numerous coups in opposition to the government in power. Although officials say precautions have been taken to ensure a fair voting process... worries remain that the results could spark uprisings not uncommon to the often tumultuous Thai politics of the past. Julie Noce, Reuters