Thursday, November 14, 2019

Apirat says his threat to opposition is fake news

Jul 17. 2019
Royal Thai Army commander-in-chief General Apirat Kongsompong
Royal Thai Army commander-in-chief General Apirat Kongsompong
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By The Nation

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The Army chief declared on Wednesday that he has become a victim of fake news, as he denied ever issuing a threat against opposition parties.

Royal Thai Army commander-in-chief General Apirat Kongsompong said he had made no such threats or even commented on the upcoming parliamentary debate on the new government’s policies. 

Earlier, social-media users had shared a post depicting his image with the message: “A debate against the prime minister is like tripping up the country. If people with ill intentions cause chaos, I will have to do something for the country. Don’t force me to do it.”

General Apirat maintained on Wednesday that he has made no such remark. “Reporters who cover the [military] beat know that I’ve never said such a thing. It’s obviously fake news. Who will say such a thing?”

The Army chief also said he has made no politics related comments for a while now. 

"The NCPO [National Council for Peace and Order] does not have any duties,” he said, referring to the post-coup junta that has stopped existing since the new government – still led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha – was formed. 

Apirat said any debate involving the prime minister was a matter for the Parliament. 

"It's part of the political process in Parliament under a democratic system. Nobody can prevent it. Don't try to involve me in the matter," the Army chief said.

Opposition MPs are expected to grill Prayut and his Cabinet members during the parliamentary debate on the government’s policy statement next week.

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