UDD Cancels 18 April Rally, Citing Fears of Clashes

Redshirt demonstrators conduct a ritual to place a curse on Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn in Ubon Ratchatani province on 17 April.

BANGKOK — The United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) has called off the mass rally originally scheduled for 18 April.

"The UDD will not organise a mass rally on 18 April, because we need to consider the situation day-to-day," said the UDD spokesman, Mr. Thanawut Wichaidith,

"Let me stress that this is not a retreat," he added, "But we will only rally when there is situation, and what we want is an unarmed rally. We don't want to clash with [rival] protesters".

The UDD had previously pledged to organise a show of strength to coincide with the scheduled court decision on whether to strip the chairman of the UDD of his bail release. 

Mr. Jatupon Prompan is facing terrorism charges related to the political unrest in Bangkok in 2010 and has been released on bail.

Mr. Thanawut also denounced the recent Facebook post by Mr. Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, the chief Election Commissioner, in which Mr. Somchai said he does not wish to maintain any friendship with the Redshirts as they are "rude" and "aggressive" people. 

"Let it be known that we don't want friendship with Mr. Somchai either," Mr. Thanawut said in a press conference.

Meanwhile, Ms. Thida Thawornseth, the chief adviser to the UDD, stressed that the UDD may call a rally at any time, so Redshirt supporters should be ready at all times.

She said the UDD will mostly likely choose Aksa Avenue in Nakhon Pathom province as the site of their next rally.

"I want to inform the Election Commission and all other so-called independent agencies that if they refuse to organise a new election, or if they refuse to exercise justice, the people will not tolerate them anymore," Ms. Thida said, "They will come out and fight for justice".

 

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