Deputy PM Yuthasak dismisses coup speculation


BANGKOK, March 26 — Deputy Prime Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapa said Monday that there is neither reason nor factors suggesting that there could be a new coup as the government has been working well with the military.

The former defence minister told reporters that he was fully confident in the military and during the meetings with top brass including the Supreme Commander, the Army, Air Force and Navy Chiefs, all cooperate well with the government.

Gen Yuthasak said he sees no atmosphere or situation that could lead to a new putsch during the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.

“I believe there will be no coup during the present government as there is no factor — neither politics nor the annual military reshuffle — that could lead to a new coup,” he said.

The government has good understanding with the military and both parties are working very well together and often discuss and exchange ideas.

Gen Yuthasak was apparently responding to the recent comment by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s advisor Gen Panlop Pinmanee that it is possible that some members of the Council for National Security (CNS) who staged the 2006 coup ousting the Thaksin Shinawatra administration would repeat their seizure of power in the near future.

Moreover, Gen Yuthasak said emphatically that there would be no impact on Thailand’s  national security if former premier Thaksin visited the Lao PDR and Cambodia to celebrate the traditional Songkran new year’s water festival next month .

He also denied a claim by opposition Democrat MP Sirichok Sopha that fugitive ex-PM Thaksin was detained at an Italian airport.

Gen Yuthasak explained that there had been a misunderstanding and that Italian immigration officials questioned Mr Thaksin before allowing him passage through the immigration procedure.