Ex-MP Jatupon Appointed As Official Redshirts Chairman

Mr. Jatupon Prompan

(1 July) Well-known former MP Jatupon Prompan has been appointed as the new chairman of the
National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), the official governing body of the

Jatupon, who served briefly as a Member of Parliament for the ruling Pheu Thai Party, replaced Ms.
Thida Tojirakarn, wife of Mr. Weng Tojirakarn, another prominent figure in the Redshirts

appointment of Mr. Jatupon was undertaken in a conference at a hotel in Bangkok′s Ram Intra district
attended by various figures of the UDD, including Ms. Thida, Mr. Nattawut Saikuea, and Mr. Jatupon
himself. Representatives from local UDD chapters also attended the 2-day

Vorachai Hema, an MP of Pheu Thai Party who was at the meeting, said the participants had come to
consensus that the political situation would reach a crisis in the next 2-3 months because of the
opposition party′s escalation in their campaign against the government.

The Democrat Party is mobilizing their
voters in the southern region, and the White Masks protests are spreading, even organizing rally in
Bangkok, Mr. Vorachai said, referring to the weekly anti-government protests which had adopted the
Guy Fawkes Masks as their symbols.

To meet such challenge, according to Mr. Vorachai, the conference attendees decided to put
someone with strong manner in charge of the UDD. He said Ms. Thida did not object to Mr. Jatupon′s

Mr. Vorachai said the UDD leadership has agreed to push for Amnesty Bill (he did
not clarify which one – there are currently at least 2 drafts being considered), the compensation
program from the government to those affected by political violence in the past years, and amendment
of Constitution. He said the UDD will our the country to explain their stances to the

Mr. Vorachai also hinted at his
displeasure of the new Cabinet shake-up. 

He said the current Cabinet
line-up might send a signal that the government is
etreating because Mr. Chalerm Yoobumrung, a
fierce ally of Former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, was shifted to Ministry of Labor from his former
position as Vice Prime Minister, while Mr. Chaturon Chaisaeng, a political veteran, was assigned as
Minister of Education. 

Both Mr. Chalerm and Mr. Chaturon would not be in the position
that they could help defend the Prime Minister from political rivals, Mr. Vorachai

From now on the government′s side would be retreating when it comes
to battles in the Parliament, Mr. Vorachai fumed. 

Mr. Jatupon had been a leader in
many reincarnations of Mr. Thaksin′s popular wing, from the PTV Group, formed in 2007 to campaign
against the 2006 military coup which ousted Mr. Thaksin, to the UDD′s mass protests in central
Bangkok of 2009 and 2010. 

The 2010 protests were ended after weeks of
crackdown operation by the military, acting on orders from then-PM Abhisit Vejjajeeva who is now
leader of the opposition party, and Mr. Jatupon was arrested on terrorism charge. He later won the
election as an MP but was eventually stripped of his career because he did not vote in the election;
he was being imprisoned when the election took place.