Deputy PM Chalerm dismisses anti-govt rally threat

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BANGKOK, Oct 29 – Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung brushed aside the importance of Sunday’s anti-government rally, saying that despite protest groups turning up in force, the event and the movement posed no threat to the administration of premier Yingluck Shinawatra.

The deputy premier said the number of protesters estimated by the police was less than the  actual turnout. He earlier estimated those in the protest to number only 1,500-2,000 persons.

Mr Chalerm, however, asserted that the rally could not lead to the toppling of the Pheu Thai-led government, saying there was no condition that would lead to such a mass rally to oust the Yingluck administration as claimed by the protest leaders.

The rally could not threaten the government’s stability, he said.

Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit, a retired officer and key rally organiser, said the campaign at the Royal Turf Club was gathering steam. The group is weighing its next move and the next rally could be held within a month.

Meanwhile, Korkaew Pikulthong, a top red shirt leader, claimed that many people joined the rally after Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva met with the turf club’w owner in Nakhon Pathom, ,.

Some people in the lower northeastern provinces were reported to have been hired to join the rally, Mr Korkaew said, urging the government to shut down the royal turf club to counter the move.

The red shirt leader cautioned the government to closely watch the anti-government movement.