Red-shirt core leaders’ political allegiance unaffected by Yingluck’s exit

Red-shirt core leaders in the North and the Northeast have declared that their political ideology and allegiance remain unchanged after the escape out of the country of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Mr Petcharawat Wattanapongsirikul, leader of the Rak Chiangmai 51 group which is closely affiliated with the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), told Thai PBS that he didn’t expect Ms Yingluck to flee the country.

But his group’s political stance remains unchanged and his group will not engage in any political activity for the time being, said Petcharawat.

Mahawang Kawang, leader of Nok Seri group which is linked to the UDD, said he didn’t think Yingluck’s surprised exit means she has abandoned her supporters. He added that he respected her decision to flee.

Ms Yingluck went missing when she was due to appear before the Supreme Court on Friday to hear her verdict related to the rice pledging scheme.

UDD core leader in Surin, Prompat Thanakornkulpipat, said Yingluck’s escape was not beyond anticipation because she might have predicted the outcome of the court’s judgement.

However, he noted that red-shirt supporters’ loyalty toward Thaksin and Ms Yingluck remains strong.