Gen Prawit agrees on shutting down media creating conflicts

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BANGKOK, Dec 26 Deputy Prime Minister/Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon on Friday said he agreed with Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha to use power to shut down media which frequently present reports creating conflicts in Thai society.

Asked what was his belief after the prime minister said earlier that he might exercise his powers under Article 44 to close media that often presents news that could create conflicts in society, Gen Prawit responded saying that he believed it was a positive move because every concerned party including the government and the National Council for Peace  and Order (NCPO) wanted to see reconciliation in the country.

Several journalists always pose questions which are neither constructive nor create reconciliation among the public, said Gen Prawit.

On remarks made earlier by the prime minister that he might impose strict martial law against those using military weapons during the upcoming New Year celebrations, Gen Prawit said he is also worried about the situation at a certain level.

However, security related officials and government agencies are already providing security to the people while the NCPO is also closely monitoring this issue.

On a proposal by the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) that the prime minister under a charter change could be non-partisan or not a member of the House of Representatives, Gen Prawit said  the proposal is still in the “early stage” and it is not the right time now to express an idea or opinion.

It is up to the Constitution Drafting Committee to decide, he said.

Bowornsak Uwanno, chairman of CDC, said that he disagreed with the direct election of the prime minister because it would give excessive power to the government and it would be difficult for verification or an impeachment.

This could create conflict in the country as in the past, Mr Bowornsak added.