No political conflicts, no coup: army chief Gen Apirat

Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong today did not rule out the possibility of another military coup if the country is plunged into chaos again.

“My hope is that politics will not bring the country into conflicts again. If politics doesn’t cause chaos, then nothing will happen,” he said when asked by reporters whether another coup is possible in the future.

Speaking to the media for the first time since taking office, Gen Apirat said whihle Thailand had had more than 10 military coups, the last few ones were triggered by politics.

Referring to the military coup in 2014, he said Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, who was then army chief,  had no choice but to intervene. “Just imagine what would have happened, had Gen Prayut did not do what did,” Gen Apirat said.

Gen Apirat also voiced full support of the army for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).  “The army and NCPO are one and the same,” he said but stressed the army is ready to lend support to any government that comes to power.  By his position, Gen Apirat also currently serves as the secretary of NCPO.

The new army chief said he is hopeful that the country will not have to endure more any violent political conflicts.  “We have seen what conflicts have done to the country. Let them serve as a reminder ,” he said.


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