Yellow Shirts postpone June 5 rally

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BANGKOK, June 2 – Thailand’s yellow-shirted movement, the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) on Saturday decided to postpone its June 5 rally after House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont decided to cancel next week’s parliamentary sessions on charter amendment and national reconciliation bills.

The Yellow Shirt movement issued a statement today, saying its planned protest at Makkawan Rangsan Bridge will be postponed, as the House Speaker has suspended the controversial parliamentary sessions on June 5 to deliberate the charter amendment and June 6-7 on the proposed reconciliation bills.

On June 5, the House was scheduled to vote on the third reading of the draft constitution amendment, but the vote could not proceed as the Constitution Court agreed to consider the legality of the draft constitutional amendment and issued an injunction to suspend the legistlative process until a court ruling, after it accepted five petitions lodged by a group of Senators and Democrat MPs challenging the legality of the draft.

The House Speaker earlier cancelled the reconciliation bills debate on Friday as yellow shirt protesters blocked access to lawmakers into parliament, but were set to reconvene the House of Representatives on Wednesday and Thursday (June 6-7) to consider the reconciliation bills.

The statement claimed that the House sessions were put off as a result of protests by the PAD and allies at the parliament against the deliberation of the reconciliation bill between May 30-June 1.

Combined with the planned prolonged rally at Makkawan Rangsan bridge and the Constitution court’s decision to consider the legality of the charter amendment, the statement said, the process could not continue.

The PAD however noted that it could not consider the situation settled as the new date for the House session is not yet set, but it is prepared to mobilise supporters immediately if any new statements of the PAD leaders are issued.

Meanwhile, a rival political group, the red-shirted United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) on Saturday gathered at Thunder Dome, Muangthong Thani on the outskirts of Bangkok, amid tight security.

The gathering came on the occasion of celebrating the 5th anniversary of the “Truth Today” programme, with a talk show of the hosts and UDD key leaders Veerakan Musikapong, Natthawut Saikua and Jatuporn Prompan.

Ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra was also scheduled to make a phone-in address to his supporters at 3pm.