Military brass expected to comment on election today

Military brass expected to comment on election today

Thaksin tipped to lose alumni award

The chief of defence forces, centre, meets with the chiefs of armed forces and the police at the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters in Bangkok in October last year. (File photo)
The chief of defence forces, centre, meets with the chiefs of armed forces and the police at the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters in Bangkok in October last year. (File photo)

The military top brass are expected to explain their post-election stance on Thursday, while the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) urged political parties scrambling to form a coalition government on Wednesday to avoid sowing conflict.

A military source said Gen Pornpipat Benyasri, chief of the Defence Forces, called a special meeting for Thursday with leaders of the three armed forces and the national police chief to discuss the situation.

According to the source, the military leaders are also likely to announce a decision by the board of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School (Afaps) alumni to recall Thaksin Shinawatra's alumnus achievement awards.

The announcement is scheduled to be made at the 11th Infantry Regiment in Bangkok.

Thaksin, a member of Class 10 at the Afaps, received the "Chak Dao" award from the Afaps' alumni in 1991 for his contribution to economic development. He got a similar award in 2011 for his achievements in management.

The source said the resolution was made at a meeting on Tuesday and was based on the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions' ruling in 2008 about the stripping of a police rank.

The Afaps alumni board is chaired by Gen Pornpipat. Its decision to recall the awards were reportedly unanimous.

The source said any outstanding alumnus who deserved the Chak Dao award must demonstrate good behaviour, a strong sense of morality and honesty in their personal and working life, loyalty to the royal institution and the nation, and must not have a flawed background or have caused harm to society.

The proposed recall of the awards is based on the prison sentence Thaksin received and the stripping of his police rank.

Thaksin was found guilty of abusing his authority and was sentenced to two years in prison, in absentia, on Oct 21, 2008, in connection with a Ratchadaphisek land purchase case.

The Royal Thai Police proposed he be deprived of his rank of police lieutenant colonel, which was removed on Sept 5, 2015.

Meanwhile, NCPO spokesman Winthai Suvaree warned political parties trying to form a coalition government and any groups on Wednesday not to spoil the atmosphere by creating any kind of conflict.

Col Winthai said some parties and groups were bent on smear campaigns and discrediting the NCPO during the election campaign instead of focusing on policies to help the people.

"The NCPO is urging all sides to avoid issues that could lead to divisions and refrain from activities that could be seen as instigating chaos," he said.

Col Winthai added that the NCPO wished to thank the public for their cooperation in helping deliver a smooth election.

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