Political and military figures weigh in on army chief’s remarks concerning a coup

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Bangkok – Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan said that Royal Thai Army Commander Gen Apirach Kongsompong’s recent remarks that a coup could take place depending on the political situation was merely an expression of his personal opinion and a statement in response to possible future circumstances, not a threat directed at the current administration. He voiced his own belief that the peace maintained over the past four years should encourage further preservation of order.

Minister of the Interior Gen Anupong Paojinda pointed out that the army commander also said he doesn’t wish to see any conflict and that if political power is wielded correctly, there should be no cause for concern. He asked the media not to dwell on the remarks, saying only that if all sides respect national rules, progress can continue to be achieved.

Royal Thai Air Force Commander ACM Chaipruek Disayarin said that the army commander no doubt had his reasons for making such comments and that no one group, political or otherwise, wants a coup to take place as all want to see peace and stability.

On whether or not the army would act if conflict occurs in the future, the Air Force Commander reminded the public that the army’s duty is to preserve peace and order and that it is compelled to take action if police are unable to maintain stability.