11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha insisted today that he has been listening to the voices of anti-government protesters and dismissed talks of a possible military coup.

The prime minister was commenting on a suggestion from former prime minister Anand Panyarachun that the he should pay heed to the demands of the protesters.

“I have been listening to their voices. I hear everything,” he said and went on to beg for “mutual understanding” from the anti-government protesters who are demanding his resignation, a new constitution and a reform of the monarchy.

He said he also listened to what was said during the two-day extraordinary House session early this week. The session was called to debate the ongoing political conflicts which pose the biggest challenge to the Prayut government.

When asked to comment on a suggestion by Sondhi Limthongkul, a media proprietor and leader of the anti-Thaksin People’s Alliance for Democracy, that the military stage a coup to end the ongoing crisis, he said the idea never crossed his mind.

“We have never thought about this.  But we have to be careful not to allow the situation to escalate. I am not saying whether there will be a coup or not. I am only saying nobody wants to do it,” he said.

He also defended the move to set up a national reconciliation committee to find a way out of the current crisis.

“This is mechanism designed by the legislative branch to solve the problem,” he said in response to claims by some opposition parties that setting up the committee was only a ploy to buy time by his government.

 

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