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New Thai Red Shirts Leader, Vows to Fight for Democracy

A firebrand hardliner, Mr Jatuporn Prompan (centre, seen in a file picture from 2010) who was a core leader of Thailand's Red Shirts in the country's massive 2010 protests has been chosen to head the pro-government movement

A firebrand hardliner, Mr Jatuporn Prompan (centre)who was a core leader of Thailand’s Red Shirts in the country’s massive 2010 protests has been chosen to head the pro-government movement

 

AYUTTHAYA – Over 10,000 government supporters on Saturday held a large rally in central Thailand to show their support for the caretaker government led by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

At the gathering at a stadium in Ayuttaya, the members of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), known as red shirts, vowed to step up their movement if the government is ousted in an undemocratic way.

Thida Thawornseth, president of the UDD, told News reporters that the redshirts still prefer peaceful means rather than confronting antigovernment protesters led by former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, who have been staging rallies in Bangkok for several months.

Thida said a civil war might break out if there are signs of an undemocratic solution to the country’s political turmoil.

“What we need is democracy. We do not care which political party forms a government but they have to be elected,” she said.

The UDD president also accused independent agencies, including the Election Commission, of not performing their duties to maintain order in the country.

During the rally, the UDD named a new president to replace Thida, who announced her retirement.

Jatuporn Prompan, one of the UDD’s core leaders, was officially named as the new leader to take over the movement.

Jatuporn told the crowd that he is ready to lead the UDD against the opposition forces led by Suthep.

The UDD consists of supporters of Yingluck’s older brother, ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled in a 2006 coup and fled the country two years later to avoid prison after being convicted of corruption and other charges.

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