Thailand's military offered on Sunday to help the politically polarized country hold a "fair and clean" election next year, suggesting the armed forces may play a role in a vote aimed at ending protests seeking to topple the government.
The idea was raised at a forum organised by the caretaker government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who last week called an election for February 2 to try to defuse protests targeting her brother, ousted ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and his influence on Thailand's political system.
(Read more: Thai Prime Minister calls snap election)
The protesters, backed by Bangkok's elite, have rejected the proposed election and want to set up a "people's council" that would eradicate the influence of the "Thaksin regime" and introduce reforms following a decade of election wins by Thaksin or his allies on broad support from the urban and rural poor.
General Nipat Thonglek, the Defense Ministry's permanent secretary, said at the forum: "The military wants to see the February 2 election. If there are signs that the election will not be fair, the military is ready to make it fair and clean."