AYUYYHAYA – Thousands of red shirt supporters of the caretaker government from central provinces gathered at the ancient capital of Ayutthaya today to back the government to remain in power.
The redshirts arrived by boats buses, mainly from Samut Prakan, Pathumthani, Nonthaburi, Singburi, Ang Thong, Chai-nat, Ratchaburi and Suphanburi.
The rally was organized by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).
They gathered here to show support for the caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and to urge her to remain in office despite of growing pressure for her to step down after ruling by the Constitutional Court that her 2-trillion baht loan bill is unconstitutional.
The redshirts claimed the ruling was unjust when compared with similar loan bill passed by the Abhisit government under the same process.
The UDD and the ruling Pheu Thai Party are at odds with independent institutions, including court of justice, the National Anti-Corruption Commission, which has taken action against Ms Yingluck for dereliction of duty in the rice-pledging scheme. She chairs the National Rice Policy Committee.
Leading the rally are all key UDD leaders, including chairwoman Tida Tawornseth, her husband Weng Tojirakarn, Jatuporn Promphan and Nattawut Saikuar.
The gathering follows similar events in Udon Thani and Khon Kaen two weeks ago and a meeting held in Chiang Mai last weekend to rally support behind Ms Yingluck and press for the unsettled general election to be completed.
People’s Democratic Reform Committee leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Friday night challenged the UDD to rally in Bangkok and pledged to call out anti-government demonstrators to show up to outnumber the red shirts if they came to the capital.
He said if the number of redshirts showing up in the capital outnumbers anti government demonstrators, he was ready to end the protest immediately.
More than 1,000 police were deployed in Ayutthaya for the UDD meeting. Officers were also manning high buildings to prevent gun any grenade attacks from rival groups.