Future Forward Party wants to 'reform' military
The Future Forward Party (FFP) has affirmed its intention to reform the Thai armed forces into professional soldiers who won't interfere with politics or seize power to govern the country.
The party takes its military reform policy seriously and Lt Gen Phongsakon Rotchomphu, a deputy party leader, is now named the party's candidate for the selection of the defence minister in the next government, said party spokeswoman Phannika Wanit on Thursday.
Lt Gen Phongsakon will be among the top candidates in the party's list of MP candidates, she said. The party wants Thailand to have a "professional" military that is equivalent to any other country, not a military that keeps carrying out coups to topple an elected government and seize power to lead the country, she said.
Gen Prayut mentioned in a recent speech that he was wondering why someone would campaign against soldiers. "Who would work on the borders?" he said.
"Will those who hate soldiers be willing to be there at the [southern] borders with me?"
In Ms Pannika's response to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's remark, she said no one actually hates the military but many people want soldiers to maintain professionalism.
The party will today announce its list of its top 10 MP candidates seen as fit to become cabinet ministers, she said.
Chaturon Chaisang, who is in charge of Thai Raksa Chart Party's election strategy, responded to Gen Prayut's remark, saying that although he was not one of the people who hates soldiers, he was willing to take on the PM's "challenge".
Mr Chaturon said he didn't actually hear anyone say he or she hates the military, but that many people say they hate the "military regime".
The country's southern borders have been plagued by violence for more than a decade.