Prayuth's coup comments draw Pheu Thai rebuke

Prayuth's coup comments draw Pheu Thai rebuke

The Pheu Thai Party has urged the military to adhere to democratic principles after army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha refused to rule out launching a coup.

Gen Prayuth said on Friday that a coup "could happen", but would depend on the situation.

Pheu Thai deputy spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard said yesterday that although there has been no putsch attempt, there is no guarantee that a coup would not happen.

Mr Anusorn said he supports the army as it adheres to democracy, a principle to which the military has always been committed. The army is a key organisation which could bring peace to the country, he added.

The spokesman claimed there is an attempt under way to usher in a coup by independent bodies which are allied to the network that toppled the Thaksin Shinawatra government in 2006.

Meanwhile, the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) has vowed to mobilise its own demonstrators if a coup takes place.

"Thai people have shut the door on coups and will not allow another one to happen," caretaker Deputy Commerce Minister and red-shirt leader Nattawut Saikuar said.

"Once a putsch happens, there will be a movement from people nationwide to show their opposition to the coup."

Mr Nattawut warned Gen Prayuth that he could encounter protests from both sides if the army staged a coup and urged the army chief to adhere to the rule of law.

UDD core leader Jatuporn Prompan said if the army staged a coup it would mean it had been colluding with anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban from the beginning.

"If a coup takes place, we have to fight and that is the only thing to do," Mr Jatuporn said.

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