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Pattaya Daily News

11 December 2009 :: 21:12:44 pm 1337

Red Shirts Want 1997 Constitution Reinstated

Bangkok, the 11th of December 2009 [TNA]: Thousands of anti-government demonstrators of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) ended their mass rally to mark Constitution Day at midnight peacefully, but with a renewed call to bring back the 1997 charter. Constitution Day commemorates Thailand‘s first constitution in 1932.
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The so-called Red Shirts began their protest Thursday noon at Ratchadamnoen Avenue’s Democracy Monument with leading UDD members taking turns to attack the performance of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva government.

They called on the government to bring back the 1997 constitution, which was abolished by the September 2006 coup makers who ousted Mr Thaksin. The charter was replaced by a new constitution in 2007, written during the term of the Gen Surayudh Chulanont government.

Key UDD leader Nattawut Saikua, as last person on stage, told the Red Shirt supporters that the UDD would fight on and would rally again early next year with intensified efforts to unseat the Abhisit government.

Another key Red Shirt leader, Veera Musikapong, said earlier that the December 10 rally would be the last for this year and the movement will renew demonstrations after the New Year celebration.

The next rally would be ‘Do or Die’ for political change, Mr Veera said, without specifying the date of the gathering.

Highlighting the gathering was an address via video link from an unspecified location by convicted ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra during which he led the UDD supporters in a mass candle-lit ceremony to bless His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in honour of his 82nd birthday.

For about half an hour, Mr Thaksin told his supporters that he did not want to be prime minister again but he wanted to return to the kingdom to serve the Thai people in weathering the country’s economic problems.

Mr Thaksin said that he wanted Thailand to have a completed constitution and he was ready to talk with the government if the government returned power to the people by amending the 1997 constitution and retire the 2007 charter.

Ousted in a bloodless coup three years ago amid allegations of corruption, Mr Thaksin was sentenced to a two-year prison term for violating a conflict of interest law when he was prime minister to help his ex-wife purchase prime land in Bangkok’s Ratchadapisek Road.

He jumped bail and is now in self-imposed exile to avoid imprisonment, spending most of his time in the United Arab Emirates. (TNA)

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Methawee   Category : Politics News

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