Suthep launches PDRC Foundation, promises no more protests

Suthep launches PDRC Foundation, promises no more protests

Suthep Thaugsuban, (second from left), at a PDRC Foundation press conference on Thursday. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)
Suthep Thaugsuban, (second from left), at a PDRC Foundation press conference on Thursday. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)

Suthep Thaugsuban, who led anti-government demonstrations that led to the 2014 coup, promised no more street protests and to advocate for reform before elections during Thursday’s kick-off for the PDRC Foundation.

At a Bangkok press conference, Mr Suthep once again made it clear that he would not return to politics, choosing instead to dedicate himself to pursue the objectives of his foundation.

"There will be no more rallies, protests or storming into anyone's offices," Mr Suthep, accompanied by ex-Democrat MPs who sit on the foundation's committee, told the press briefing.

The former Democrat deputy leader insisted the foundation was not a political group, even though those involved come from the political arena. It also has no affiliation with the Democrat Party, he insisted.

The PDRC Foundation succeeds the now-defunct People's Democratic Reform Committee, an anti-Yingluck Shinawatra-government movement led by Mr Suthep. The PDRC staged street protests that culminated in its ouster by the May 22, 2014 coup. 

As a chairman of PDRC Foundation, Mr Suthep vowed to do everything he could to protect the national interest and called on like-minded Thais to join and work with his foundation.

Mr Suthep made an agreement with the National Council for Peace and Order not to talk about politics and the junta sent soldiers to monitor the proceedings.

However, he said he wanted to see the military government accomplish its reform goals before elections are held, no matter how long the process takes.

He said the foundation supported the junta, but if it sees the government is making a wrong move, the foundation would oppose it in an orderly manner by submitting a protest letter with recommendations.

"We will tell the public how and what (the government) is doing and how it differs from what we think. Whether right or wrong, the people will decide," the former PDRC leader said.

The foundation also would serve as a clearinghouse for constructive proposals on national reform from all groups, Mr Suthep added.


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