Jatuporn rejects Red Shirt movement chair

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BANGKOK, July 3 – Key Red Shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan on Wednesday turned down the chairmanship of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), citing health problems.

Mr Jatuporn’s backing away from the post followed reports that he will succeed current UDD chair Thida Thavornsreth who earlier said she wanted to quit.

The key Red Shirt leader explained that he needed at least three months of medical treatment for a herniated disk.

Mr Jatuporn, who missed being offered a ministerial post in every cabinet reshuffle, said he was not saddened that his name was not in the latest lineup.He also denied that he received money in exchange for not taking the ministerial post.

The UDD leader said the red shirt movement will continue support the Pheu Thai-led coalition government on the condition that there should be no corruption and power abuse.

As the Parliament is likely to postpone deliberation of the amnesty bills and replace them with the 2014 budget bill in the upcoming session August 1, Mr Jatuporn said he disagreed with the decision as the amnesty bill is considered more important than the latter.

He said the government should not be concerned about money rather than the people’s lives, particularly those who are still detained for protest-related charges.

UDD chair Thida said the Red Shirt movement has organised a seminar among the the group’s leading members and concluded that both the UDD and the government still have potential to fight against their opponents–in particular the anti-government white-mask movement which seems to be losing its momentum.