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Ex-Cabinet minister forms Thai opposition group from exile that rejects junta as illegitimate

A Cabinet minister in Thailand's former elected government has established a group in exile to oppose the military regime.

Former Interior Minister Charupong Reuangsuwan said Tuesday in an open letter read on YouTube and posted on Facebook that the Organization of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy rejects the junta's legitimacy.

Charupong led the Pheu Thai Party that won the 2011 election. Its opponents launched aggressive street protests last year to demand it hand over power to an appointed government that would make reforms.

The army ousted the elected government in a coup on May 22, and Charupong defied its order to surrender, apparently fleeing to neighboring Cambodia.

The junta has threatened its opponents with harsh jail terms.