6 June 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha dismissed the suggestion yesterday (Thursday) that there is no democracy under his administration, that there is still a political divide and a prospect of another coup.

In an apparent reaction to the Facebook post by Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Palang Pracharath Party, General Prawit Wongsuwan, the prime minister said that he had read what Prawit has written and found nothing new, adding that anyone could write such a post.

He insisted that he assumed the prime minister’s post four years ago, through the democratic process, but he found it necessary to clarify what took place before that. “Look what happened to Thailand then,” he said, “if nothing had been done then to reduce the conflict, where would we be today? Would we have been able to be as we are?”

The prime minister insisted that he has not seen any political conflict similar to that before the coup in 2014, which he led,and the Thai people should believe that the country can develop and can have peace. “Peace in the sense that there will be no more violence, that we must not go back to that situation again,” he said.

Asked again about the prospect of another coup, the prime minister said the last coup was over several years ago, but he admitted that he does not know what else can be done if similar political violence reoccurs “because I am no longer involved.”

Asked if General Prawit has changed, he said he still regards Prawit as his elder brother.

The prime minister said he does not view any particular party as the arch rival of his United Thai Nation Party, noting that all parties are competitors as they strive to win the election.