Red shirts commemorate 80th anniversary of Thai democracy

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BANGKOK, June 24 – The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) — or the red shirts – have gathered at Democracy Monument to mark the 80th anniversary of the transition of the Thai political system from absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy.

Red shirt key leaders–former Pheu Thai list MP Jatuporn Prompan, Deputy Agriculture Minister Natthawut Saikua, and UDD chair Thida Thavornset–took turns giving speeches on stage about the proposed constitutional amendment.

The UDD chair said that so far, about 100,000 names have been gathered and she believed another 100,000 signatures would be collected during the rally on Sunday.

The signature gathering campaign is part of the UDD plan to submit to the senate a one million signature petition seeking the impeachment of the Constitution Court judges, who voted to consider the legality of the draft constitutional amendment and issued an injunction to suspend the parliamentary process until the court makes its ruling. Most UDD leaders claimed the action was an infringement on the legislative process.

The mass gathering announced by the red shirt leaders was scheduled to end around midnight and will not be prolonged. Tight security has been provided by about 600 police officers.

Pol Col Krailert Buakaew, deputy chief of Metropolitan Police Division 1 inspected the rally site and talked with Aree Krainara, a key red shirt member and former UDD chief guard, about the overall security and atmosphere.

After the discussion, Mr Aree said that red shirt guards were working closely with police officers in order to provide security and maintain order during the gathering.

Although the overall situation is normal, Mr Aree was concerned over possible disturbances provoked by the third parties or ill-intentioned people.

Following a rumour that third parties may create chaotic incidents during the rally, UDD guards were instructed to closely inspect and report any irregularities to the police, Mr Aree said.