Red Shirts urge Yingluck to stay on as caretaker PM

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BANGKOK, Dec 9 – The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), Thailand’s Red Shirt movement, today asked Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra not to back down as anti-government protesters demand that she step down as caretaker prime minister.

Key UDD leaders jointly announced the group’s stance at a news conference here after the premier’s announcement on a House dissolution, saying that the UDD leaders respected the premier’s decision.

Jatuporn Prompan said the House dissolution is meant to return power to the people.

But the UDD asked Ms Yingluck not to quit her caretaker position for fear that would lead to a political vacuum and toward protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban’s way.

“Mr Suthep acts as if he is beyond parliamentary democracy. The UDD will never ever give up and let go of Thailand and democracy to him,” Mr Jatuporn said, adding that the protest leader wants to stir turmoil so that he can evade being tried on the murder charges in connection to the 2010 Red Shirt protests.

Red Shirts will postpone their rally scheduled for tomorrow in the central province of Ayutthaya pending the latest stance of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) led by Mr Suthep, Mr Jatuporn said.

If the PDRC does not stop undermining the country’s democracy, the UDD will call a mass rally in the next few days to protect democracy resulting in a large number of reds coming out on the streets, the Red Shirt leader warned, but said the upcoming gathering of the reds will not confront with those of their rival.

He also thanked Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha for pledging that the military would not stage any new putsch.