Udomdej tells 'Oak' to tone it down

Udomdej tells 'Oak' to tone it down

Voters to show fury at polls, says Pheu Thai

Deputy Defence Minister and army chief Gen Udomdej Sitabutr has warned Panthongtae ''Oak'' Shinawatra, the only son of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, not to go overboard with his political comments.

Gen Udomdej was responding to comments posted by Mr Panthongthae on social media regarding the impeachment by the National Legislative Assembly of his aunt, former prime minister Yingluck Shinawtra, over the controversial rice-pledging scheme. 

Mr Panthongtae posted on his Instagram account on Friday following the impeachment of Ms Yingluck a message reading: "Are you ready? Are you ready, Thai people?"

The Instagram message is accompanied by an illustration of a clenched fist. 

Gen Udomdej said people should think twice before making political expressions in any shape or form that could cause problems. 

He said the government will keep a watch on the political situation, despite intelligence suggesting Ms Yingluck's impeachment is unlikely to result in political unrest. 

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday the impeachment of Ms Yingluck was only the political component of the case against her. Prosecutors plan to indict her in the Supreme Court for negligence of duty for allowing alleged corruption in the rice scheme to persist while she was premier. 

He shrugged off speculation the impeachment may lead to a new wave of political crises. He said he believes most people understand the case was decided in accordance with the law.

"Do not say that [the impeachment] is an attempt to go after a particular person. Who would ever bet the entire country on a game of hunting down anyone? The stakes are way too high," said Gen Prayut.

Asked if Ms Yingluck's impeachment will hinder the government's reconciliation efforts, Gen Prayut said everyone has to play by the rules and respect them.

Meanwhile, Sompong Amornvivat, a key Pheu Thai Party figure, said the impeachment of Ms Yingluck was an attempt by the "people in power" to keep Shinawatra family members from succeeding in the political arena and the Pheu Thai Party will now be the next target.

Pheu Thai might become weak as a result of the latest political developments or even be eradicated, he said.

Despite that, the party and the people behind it were always ready to compete in a new election.

Voters understand the party's plight and will show their discontent over the way it has been treated at the ballot box, Mr Sompong said.

Singtong Buachoom, another Pheu Thai member, claimed he was ordered by the 1st Army commander Lt Gen Kampanart Ruddis, in his capacity as director of the centre for reconciliation and national reform, to meet him today.

Mr Singtong said he doesn't know why he has been called in but he assumes it must have something to do with his social media posts.

In a recent post, he said Ms Yingluck was forced by the military to call off her plan to address a press conference right after the NLA resolved to impeach her.

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