Apirat puts country on alert from the get-go

Apirat puts country on alert from the get-go

New army chief's refusal to rule out fresh coup a reflection of nation's political history

Gen Apirat Kongsompong (left) assumed command of the Royal Thai Army from Gen Chalermchai Sitthisad at an official change-of-command ceremony on Sept 28 at army headquarters. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Gen Apirat Kongsompong (left) assumed command of the Royal Thai Army from Gen Chalermchai Sitthisad at an official change-of-command ceremony on Sept 28 at army headquarters. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

When Gen Apirat Kongsompong was appointed new army chief in the annual military reshuffle, it was generally assumed his job was to further cement the current regime's position.

So his recent refusal to rule out another coup if fresh political unrest breaks out after a general election was never likely to raise too many eyebrows. However, it also provided a glimpse ahead to future political scenarios that may play out, according to a source in the military.

The army commander was responding to a question during a press conference last week asking whether he would be prepared to stage another coup.

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