Prawit refuses to rule out possibility of future coup in Thailand
Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) leader General Prawit Wongsuwan has refused to rule out the possibility of a military coup toppling the next elected government.
On Thursday, Prawit told activist Patsaravalee “Mind” Tanakitvibulpon, a member of the pro-democracy Ratsadon Group, that there would be no coup if Thais join together as one.
“With Thais standing united as one, there will be no disagreement and no use of violence, and a coup will be unnecessary,” said Prawit, a former Army chief and leading member of the junta following the 2014 coup.
“However, if the country falls into turmoil, a coup is a must,” he said.
The party leader and deputy prime minister met Patsaravalee at PPRP headquarters in Bangkok. He was responding after she asked him how the new government would prevent a military coup.
Prawit is widely considered the architect of the May 2014 coup led by then-Army chief General Prayut Chan-o-cha. He also served as deputy chairman of the subsequent junta, dubbed the National Council for Peace and Order.
Patsaravalee also asked whether PPRP’s policy to “surmount all conflicts’ would include pardoning political prisoners. Since July 2020, at least 1,895 people have been prosecuted for expressing political views, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.
Prawit answered that the idea of surmounting all conflicts was his alone and is therefore not related to PPRP policies, which focus on securing votes.
“I want to help Thais stay united and move the country forward together without any conflicts. It’s my personal aspiration and not a political move,” he said.
Prawit also told Patsaravalee that he does not plan to amend the junta-drafted 2017 Constitution.
Before parting, Prawit and Patsaravalee took a selfie together.