Thailand's senatorial poll peaceful

Bangkok, March 30 (IANS): Voting for Thailand's upper house of parliament started Sunday, with no disruption from the anti-government protestors reported till noon.

The voting started at 8 a.m. at all polling stations in 77 provinces of the country, including the capital Bangkok, Xinhua reported adding that the polling will end at 3 p.m.

Sunday's election is for 77 seats in the 150-seat Senate.

The remaining members for the seats are appointed by the Senate Selection Committee.

The government's attempt to make the Senate a fully elected body was one of the triggers for the unrest that started in November 2013.

The vote count at all the polling stations is expected to be completed by 8 p.m., said Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, member of the Thailand's election commission.

He has urged all the eligible voters to cast their ballots.

About 100,000 police officers have been deployed to provide security at all the polling units nationwide, assistant national police chief, Aree Onchit said.

The voting has so far proceeded peacefully without any sign of violence, Aree added.

There was a bomb explosion in Narathiwat province in the morning, leaving two policemen killed and three injured.

The bomb was reportedly detonated by militants, but it remained uncertain whether it was aimed directly at disrupting the voting, as Narathiwat is one of Thailand's three Muslim, ethnic-Malay dominated provinces plagued with insurgent violence.



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