Prayut denies Privy Council behind coup
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has insisted he made the decision to stage the May 22 coup after Thaksin Shinawatra on Wednesday claimed the Privy Council was behind the military takeover.
Gen Prayut said on Friday he risked his life staging the coup and he was not ordered to do it.
"I made my own decision. I risked my life leading the coup. No one ordered me. Even my family knew nothing about it."
"At the time, the country and the people were in grave danger so I decided [to stage the coup] on that day because the country was in an impossible situation."
"I admit the coup was not the right thing. But if I had ignored [the problems], the country would have collapsed," Gen Prayut said.
Gen Prayut was army commander when he mounted the coup which ousted the caretaker government of Yingluck Shinawatra.
Responding to Thaksin's comments, Gen Prayut said: "It is typical of him. Pay no attention to whatever he says. I also want to suggest he comes back to face justice in Thailand."
Speaking in an interview with Chosun Ilbo newspaper in Seoul on Wednesday, Thaksin claimed that privy councillors supported the anti-government protests that culminated in the military coup that ousted his sister Yingluck's government.
"The armed forces listen to privy councillors. When they did not want us to stay in power, they ordered Suthep to come out and ordered the armed forces to help [Suthep]," Thaksin said, referring to Suthep Thaugsuban who was then the leader of the People's Democratic Reform Committee, which held demonstrations against the Yingluck government.
"[Thai] soldiers seem to like Myanmar-style democracy," Thaksin said.
Thaksin was in Seoul on Tuesday and Wednesday to attend the 6th Asian Leadership Conference organised by Chosun Ilbo, which is part of Chosun Media.
The video clip of the interview was shared on social media on Friday.