Planning for and threatening on the next coup

18 10 2018

Most media, including the Bangkok Post, have reported on new Army boss Gen Apirat Kongsompong answering questions about “another military intervention.”

Some saw his refusal to rule out “another military coup if fresh political unrest breaks out after the country switches back to civilian rule following a general election next year,” as a sign of the military pulling back a bit. Others, like the Post and PPT, saw this as much more threatening.

When asked by a reporter if he was prepared to launch another coup, Gen Apirat said: “If politics does not create riots, nothing will happen.”

That sounds like a threat to us. It also sounds like the Army has contingency planning in place for a post-election coup. That would only be necessary if the junta’s favorites aren’t still in power post-election.

Gen Apirat also defended Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha and the 2014 military coup unblushingly claiming that there were no plans for a coup back then. Of course, that is total nonsense.

Gen Apirat states that The Dictator “had to make a sacrifice. If Gen Prayut had not made the decision, no one could say what would have happened…”.

Again, this is nonsensical. The Royal Thai Army had many paths open to it in 2014. It could have withdrawn its People’s Democratic Reform Committee allies. It could have maintained order to allow for an election. But, these options were exactly what the military leadership and its anti-democrat allies did not want.

Gen Apirat said of The Dictator: “He is my role model…”. His role model conducted a coup only a few years after ordering the shooting down of red shirt demonstrators.

Gen Apirat threatened:

I really hope violent incidents will not re-occur because of political rivalry. It is the country that stands to lose. The military will never defeat the people. But those who incite unrest, make bombs are the losers and make the country suffer….

He means the red shirts. His threat is that if Puea Thai miraculously win a rigged junta election, they are likely to be thrown out one more time.