Thailand: Red shirt leader warns army against a coup – One of the leaders of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), core member Jatuporn Prompan, asked military leaders to keep their word by not staging a coup in the midst of the political chaos caused by the Suthep Thaugsuban-led People’s Democratic Reform Council (PDRC) anti-government rallies, according to reports.
He called on all the armed forces commanders to keep their word, saying “You have said there will not be a coup. You must keep your word. Without a military coup, Mr Suthep will never bring down this government”.
Mr. Jatuporn, speaking at a UDD press conference updating the political situation, also took a swipe at the Democrat Party.
He said their announcement to boycott the February 2 election was not exciting because it was expected, adding “Maybe they think they can defeat the Thaksin regime by not competing in the election”.
Mr. Jatuporn also urged the Election Commission to find way of ensuring the upcoming February 2 election is clean and fair.
Another UDD core member and leader, Weng Tojirakan, called on Mr. Suthep to end his protests and join Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s proposal for all political parties to jointly reach an agreement on political reforms following the election.
“The Democrat Party is not excluded if it wants to see political reform. The prime minister has opened a way for it to join. If not, you could be branded as a political hooligan,” Mr Weng said.
UDD chair Tida Thawornseth pointed out that this was the third time the Democrat Party has boycotted an election.
“This party should be disbanded and its members should then join the PDRC. By not taking part in the election, the Democrat Party is joining hands with the rebels to topple democracy,” she said, according to a Bangkok Post report.
“On Dec 23, the first day for party-list candidate registration, we will see if the rebels stir up violence or intimidate the candidates,” said Ms Tida, referring to the PDRC leaders.
She added, “The UDD is not fighting for any party. We will rise to fight only if there is a coup”.