Police arrested core leader and ideologue of the People's Alliance for Democracy Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang when he showed up to vote in Sunday's election for Bangkok governor.
After he voted, he was removed from the polling station and taken to the Border Patrol Police Region 1 detention at Pathum Thani just north of Bangkok.
Maj Gen Chamlong is the second of nine PAD leaders to be arrested in less than 48 hours. Chaiwat Sinsuwong was detained last Friday, although Maj-Gen Chamlong is considered more important and influential within the PAD movement.
Police had warned all nine wanted PAD leaders they would be arrested if they came out of the Government House protest grounds seized by PAD in August.
They face several criminal charges including a serious allegation of inciting insurrection by their street protests, which began in Bangkok last May 25.
The arrest warrants against the nine include charges of insurrection, conspiracy, illegal assembly and refusing orders to disperse. Insurrection is the legal equivalent of treason.
The US-based news agency The Associated Press reported that police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Suraphol Thuanthong said authorities were preparing to arrest all remaining seven of the PAD wanted leaders "at an appropriate time and place".
Maj-Gen Chamlong, who also is a spiritual leader of the Santi Asoke cult, has been a familiar figure in anti-government protests since he participated in the popular 1992 anti-military demonstrations which overthrew the army-led dictatorship.
The 73-year-old former officer served in several Thai army positions before he retired in the 1970s. He has headed a political party and for a time was closely allied with the deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, now the main focus of Maj-Gen Chamlong's protests.
Bangkok Post Oct 5, 2008
Arresting him after he came out to fulfill his patriotic duty of voting doesn't make this look any good. Everybody expected the PAD to come up with something again to get back into the headlines . Looks like the Thai Police did rather act on their behalf when going after him at this "appropriate time and place".