Defence forces chief denies possibility of coup

Defence forces chief denies possibility of coup

The new leaders of the three armed forces and the Royal Thai Police meet for the first time on Monday. From left: air force chief ACM Airbull Suttiwan, army chief Gen Narongphan Jitkaewtae, defence forces chief Gen Chalermpol Srisawasdi, navy chief Adm Chartchai Sriworakhan and national police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk. (Photo by Wasssana Nanuam)
The new leaders of the three armed forces and the Royal Thai Police meet for the first time on Monday. From left: air force chief ACM Airbull Suttiwan, army chief Gen Narongphan Jitkaewtae, defence forces chief Gen Chalermpol Srisawasdi, navy chief Adm Chartchai Sriworakhan and national police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk. (Photo by Wasssana 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.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (28)

Democrats' popularity rating in South unimpressive: poll

The Democrat Party's chance of regaining its former domination of the South in the next general election is uncertain after only 30% of the people polled by the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida) said they would vote for the Democrats. The remainder said they were still undecided or would not vote for the party.

14:12

Another loss

US musician Bruce Gaston, who co-founded Fong Nam, the band that blended Thai and western music, has died.

14:05

'Why can't we study?' - Afghan girls still barred from school

KABUL: Afghan teenager Amena saw dozens of classmates killed when her girls' school was targeted by an Islamic State bomb attack in May, but she was determined to continue her education.

13:45