The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has cancelled its political activities for the weekend of Nov 24-25 to allow its supporters to join the anti-government rally planned by the Pitak Siam group.
Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang, a PAD core leader, said Monday PAD leaders will not take part in the Pitak Siam rally, but will give it moral support.
Rank and file supporters could take part at their own discretion, as is their right under the constitution.
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As a show of support for Pitak Siam, the PAD's core members had decided to cancel the group's own political activities for that weekend, including a reform seminar in Kanchanaburi on Nov 24 and in Phetchaburi on Nov 25, to allow people to freely attend the Pitak Siam rally, Maj Gen Chamlong said.
The PAD led street protests against the Thaksin Shinawatra administration in 2006 which brought about the coup which toppled the government.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung is confident the anti-government rally will not be extended to disrupt the censure debate in parliament, set for Nov 25-27.
He believed the protesters would want to listen to the debate brought by the Democrat Party against the government, so would end their rally in good time.
Pitak Siam is regarded as a regrouping of the anti-Thaksin yellow shirts, the multi-coloured shirts and supporters of the Democrat Party.
Mr Chalerm said he would invite representatives from independent agencies such as the Office of the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Commission to observe security during the rally.
Meanwhile, army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha said the army would not try to prevent the protest by the Pitak Siam group, as supporters had the right to protest peacefully.
He reiterated his intention not to allow active soldiers join the protest, though he said they can still take part in a personal capacity. "I don't want active soldiers taking part in the gathering because of possible consequences if there are problems coming out of the rally," he said.
Pitak Siam leader Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit has vowed to mobilise at least 1 million people for the second rally. The first demonstration at the Royal Turf Club on Oct 28 attracted an estimated 20,000 people, according to organisers. Police, however, put the figure at closer to 7,000.
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Writer: Patsara Jikkham & Wassana Nanuam