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Coup-makers ‘should be prosecuted’ after general election: Watana

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Watana Muangsook, a key Pheu Thai Party politician, on Monday called for the prosecution of coup-makers after the next election.

He said the military coup in May 2014 had caused “severe damage to the country and wasted a lot of state budget while causing the most suffering to the people”. 
Watana blamed what he called “inefficient management by retired military officers who want to have power but lack intelligence”.
The outspoken politician said in his latest Facebook message attacking the ruling junta that an “important mission” after the next election was to restore democracy and reform the armed forces.
“The goal is to prevent anyone from using the armed forces to destroy democracy again. More importantly, coup-makers must be punished for causing damage to the country,” he said. 
Watana said the prosecution would not be revenge, but rather an attempt to “end a vicious cycle and restore the rule of law”.
In his message headlined “Dictators must be brought to court”, the politician said the election results in Malaysia last week should be a lesson to Thais. 
“Malaysia and developed countries prove that democracy can solve every problem,” he added.
His latest message seemed to be inspired by Malaysia’s newly elected prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, who made a remark about his corruption-tainted predecessor Najib Razak after his stunning poll victory. 
When asked if Najib would be prosecuted, Mahathir said: “If anybody breaks the law, they will be brought before the court.”
Watana last week was brought before the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders for alleged malfeasance and bribery. 
The case is in connection with the Ua Athon housing project for low-income earners, which was started in 2005 by the National Housing Authority. 
At that time, Watana was serving as minister of social development and human security in charge of the agency during a Thaksin Shinawatra government.

Published : May 14, 2018

By : The Nation