Army chief vows no interference in election vote by soldiers
The Army chief has insisted soldiers will be free to vote for the party and candidates of their choice at the upcoming general election.
“After they take off their uniform, all military personnel are citizens. They have full freedom to choose whoever they see fit to run the country,” said Army Commander-in-Chief General Narongphan Jitkaewthae on Monday.
He was responding to rumours that the Army could order soldiers to vote for certain parties.
However, the Army will guide personnel on how to cast their votes and consider a candidate’s qualifications, he added.
Two former army chiefs will compete as PM candidates in the upcoming election: Current PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha for the United Thai Nation Party and General Prawit Wongsuwan for the ruling Palang Pracharath Party.
Narongphan also said he would consider requests from parties to campaign inside military bases on a case-by-case basis.
The election is tentatively scheduled for May 7.
Narongphan was speaking after attending Monday’s annual Khao Khor Memorial event in Phetchabun to commemorate the sacrifice of army personnel and civilians killed fighting the communist insurgency between 1968 and 1982.