BANGKOK, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A massive rally called to commemorate the ouster of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra could trigger a state of emergency, officials warned.
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said Saturday that if the red-clad demonstrators of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship get out of control in Bangkok, the government will use the provisions of the the Internal Security Act to deploy military forces and impose a curfew to restore order, the Bangkok Post reported.
Suthep, who is in charge of national security, warned Friday he possesses the full authority to call a Cabinet meeting to declare a state of emergency if Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is traveling abroad.
"I will be acting prime minister," he said. "If necessary, I can invoke a state of emergency. I am entrusted with the full authority of the prime minister to maintain law and order."
The Post noted Abhisit is scheduled to leave for New York Sunday to attend this week's opening of the new session of the U.N. General Assembly, and would be gone until Sept 27.
UDD leaders told the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua that their rally would peacefully disperse in time for a midnight Saturday deadline.