Ageing tends to mellow people and, after a certain point, our wild party days are put well behind us. Even rock bands usually turn to ballads after a few decades. And, it seems, military leaders might get less coup-y over the years. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha vowed that his 2014 coup overthrowing the Thai government was his last.
PM Prayut spoke about it as the general election approaches, amid remarks made by Deputy Prime Minister and Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) leader Prawit Wongsuwon on Facebook on Wednesday.
Prawit, who is the PPRP’s prime minister candidate and served as Acting Prime Minister last year, stated in the post that he can promote national reconciliation and coordinate national development between politicians and the elite better than others, thanks to his understanding of the country’s power structure.
“I have become aware that those who support coups never cease to exist in the power structure. I look at the situation as a whole with an understanding of why those who wield influence and dictate the direction of the country think and work together as such.”
PM Prayut came to power leading a coup after months of anti-government protests on May 22, 2014. He toppled the Pheu Thai-led government and took control of Thailand. He says that he read Prawit’s post and saw nothing wrong with it.
When asked about the coups mentioned in the post, he claimed that the last coup took place a long time ago, and stated that he believes there are no serious conflicts in the country.
“The country must be peaceful and people happy. Don’t go back to the same situation. Who will stage a coup? I already said a long time ago that the  coup is the last. There should be no coup again. It is also up to everyone to help prevent it. If a serious conflict occurs again, I don’t know how to solve it because I have nothing to do with it now.”
That said, Prayut believes talks of coups are intended to stir up ill will against him since he led the last coup. But the 68 year old believes people will still see him as the best candidate.
When asked if he can lead the country out of political conflicts if he returns as prime minister, Prayut said he doesn’t see any serious conflict, merely acceptable differences of opinion.
Still, despite the provocative coup remarks aimed at him by Prawit, the prime minister insists that he remains like a brother to Prawit. Prayut doesn’t view him as a political rival, despite them now belonging to different parties.
Prayut recently left the PPRP to join the United Thai Nation Party (UTN). He will run as its prime ministerial candidate.
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