Jarupong Ruangsuwan, former President of the Puea Thai Party, on June 24 announced the establishment of the first official opposition group against the coup-making junta.

Declaring the founding of the Organisation of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy, Jarupong, who was also a former senior minister, criticised the junta for violating the rules of law, abusing democratic principles and destroying locals’ rights, liberties and human dignity.

He added the group will fight to restore democracy and resist any move by the junta to damage the political system.

The organisation has gathered many former lawmakers, scholars, red-shirt figures and other opponents of the May 22 army power grab.

The group’s spokesman Jakrapob Penkair said his group will provide assistance and encouragement to all demonstrators against the coup, but no violent act.

On May 22, the Thai army carried out a controversial coup, saying that it was necessary to restore public order following several months of deadly street protests in Bangkok.-VNA