Thai election authorities Thursday ordered the removal of ‘no vote’ posters in Bangkok depicting politicians as monkeys, buffaloes, dogs, tigers and crocodiles.
Election Commission chairman Apichart Sukhakhanond said the billboards, put up by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) movement, had to be removed because they were larger than regulation size. ‘I don’t want to get into the details,’ Apichart told reporters.
On Wednesday, the commission had voted that the billboards were election-related, even though the PAD is not competing in the July 3 polls, and it had the authority to decide on their removal.
The posters, depicting animal politicians dressed in business suits and carrying the warning – Don’t Release the Animals into Parliament – were undemocratic, some commissioners argued.
The PAD, a conservative, nationalistic street movement better known as the yellow shirts, will protest the decision in court.
‘The posters do not belong to any political party so how can the Election Commission order us to destroy them?’ PAD spokesman Panthep Wongpuaphan said.
The PAD was the force behind street protests against then-premier Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006, that led to his ouster by a coup. The movement also led seven months of protests in Bangkok in 2008 against another pro-Thaksin government. The protests culminated in the seizure of Government House and of Bangkok’s two international airports.