The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) plans another mass rally at Rajamangala stadium on Sunday to counter growing anti-government protests.
The red-shirts have to come out to protect the democratically elected government and the House of Representatives, UDD chairwoman Tida Tawornseth said at a news conference at Imperial Lat Phrao shopping centre on Saturday.
The country is now moving backward because “elite bureaucrats” and the Democrats are making use of independent organisations, including the Constitution Court, to secretly rob the charter from the people, she said.
Mrs Tida called on people and red-shirts in Bangkok and nearby provinces to join the mass gathering to protect democracy at the stadium on Sunday at 6pm.
She said the pro-government rally would be peaceful and that the UDD would not lead its supporters out of the rally site to confront the anti-government groups on Ratchadamnoen Road.
She also told red-shirts to bring food and necessities for an overnight stay in the event that it became necessary for the UDD to prolong the rally.
The UDD held a rally at Rajamangala Stadium earlier in the week but dispersed the same day that the Constitution Court issued its ruling striking down a draft charter amendment on the makeup of the senate.
Jatuporn Prompan, a UDD co-leader, alleged that the Constitution Court’s ruling on Wednesday had been planned in advance.
Armed with a ruling favourable to their side, he said, anti-government groups were thus able to petition the National Anti-Corruption Commission, seeking dissolution of the Pheu Thai Party and the ouster of MPs and senators who backed the draft charter change.
Mr Jatuporn admitted that the red shirts at Rajamangala on Sunday would probably be outnumbered by the anti-government groups at Ratchadamnoen, as the UDD rally had been called on such short notice.
However, he believed the number of red-shirts would increase substantially in subsequent days as they would turn out to flex their muscle and prevent those who ordered the use of weapons against protesters in 2010 to return to power again.