Prawit spurns calls for military to sign unity pact

Prawit spurns calls for military to sign unity pact

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon takes questions from reporters at Government House on Thursday. (Photo by Thanarak Khunton)
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon takes questions from reporters at Government House on Thursday. (Photo by Thanarak Khunton)

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has rejected outright calls for the military to join political parties in signing a so-called memorandum of understanding (Mou) on reconciliation, and promising not to stage any more coups.

The calls were made by Kasit Piromya, a former foreign minister in a Democrat-led government and currently a member of the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA), and Worachai Hema, a former MP of the Pheu Thai Party.

"There is no need for the military to sign it. I can assure you that nobody wants to stage a coup, except when the country is mired in conflict and lack of understanding. No soldier wants to do this.

"I am now over 70 years old.  Nobody wants to do this (stage a coup), except when the country is in a stalemate.

"I'll tell you what.  Without the people's support, nobody can stage a coup.  There is no need to fear a coup  if there is no support for it from the people," he said.

Gen Prawit claimed the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) took power with the people's support, adding: "We stepped in to bring about peace and order."

"This is my own opinion.  And I believe the majority of military think the same.  Nobody wants to overthrow an administration and take power.  I don't see anything good from doing this.  I wouldn't mind if somebody else wanted to be in my place," said Gen Prawit.

Asked about former People's Democratic Reform Committee leader Suthep Thaugsuban's rejection of the proposed unity pact, Gen Prawit said he would not force anyone into signing or not signing it.

"What we want is for all of us to reach an agreement that we will stay together in peace in the future in  reconciliation," he added.

Surachai Liangboonlertchai, deputy president of the National Legislative Assembly, said he was of the opinion that society wanted an assurance from all sides that they would keep their promises.  Everything depended on the sincerity of all concerned, he added.


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