Putting the military on mute | Bangkok Post: opinion

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Putting the military on mute

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Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha engages in verbal combat with Jatuporn Prompan and Nattawut Saikuar, and often gives political opinions to the media. 

Reporters ask for his opinions because they make for a popular headline. In addition, it underlines the reality that the military does have a say in Thai politics. At times, it has the final say.

Gen Prayuth of course gives his opinions, because by golly those reporters just keep sticking their microphones at him. Perhaps both sides can agree to stop talking to each other. If there comes a day when an army chief, or any general, is never quoted on politics, unless he’s running for office, then perhaps we would have a developed democracy. This would mean that the military is not relevant to domestic politics. In fact, the army chief would consider it a betrayal to the uniform and the commander-in-chief (the elected civilian head of state) to give political opinions to the media.

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