Defence forces chief denies possibility of coup
published : 5 Oct 2020 at 18:51
writer: Wassana Nanuam
Newly appointed defence forces chief Gen Chalermpol Srisawasdi on Monday insisted that the military will not get involved in politics and a military coup is not on their mind.
He was speaking at a press briefing on Monday after the first meeting of the new leaders of the three armed forces and the Royal Thai Police.
Also present were army chief Gen Narongphan Jitkaewtae, navy chief Adm Chartchai Sriworakhan, air force chief ACM Airbull Suttiwan, and national police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk.
Asked about the military's role in politics, Gen Chalermpol said politics involves the governing of the country under the law, and the military serves as the government's mechanism in social and economic affairs.
''As for politics, the military has no involvement, though they are directly involved in state security because this is the duty of the military. It is the duty under the constitution,'' Gen Chalermpol said.
Asked about the armed forces leaders' roles as senators, he said they only serve during a so-called five-year transitional period as stipulated by the constitution, and they only act in line with the charter.
The armed forces leaders are among six state officials serving as senators under the current constitution. The three others are the chief of the defence forces, the permanent secretary for defence and the national police chief.
Under the constitution, the coup-appointed Senate is allowed to join the House of Representatives to vote for a prime minister.
Asked to give assurances there will be no military coup, Gen Chalermpol said the matter is ''not part of the military's action plans''.
Gen Chalermpol on Monday also laid down the armed forces' policies — protecting the monarchy, national defence, maintaining state security, building security cooperation with other countries, supporting efforts to develop the country, prevent and ease natural disasters and help the people, and management of the armed forces.
Gen Chalermpol has three years left before his mandatory retirement in 2023.