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Thai army and police refuse to meet with opposition’s leader

December 12, 2013, 12:28 UTC+3
According to Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army General Prayuth Chan-ocha, such a meeting could be misinterpreted
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Suthep Thaugsuban

Suthep Thaugsuban

© EPA/NARONG SANGNAK

BANGKOK, December 12. /ITAR-TASS /. Command of Thai armed forces and the national police refused to meet with opposition leader Suthep Thaugsuban who tried to enlist the support of security forces in a coup attempt.

According to Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army General Prayuth Chan-ocha, such a meeting could be misinterpreted. He initially accepted the invitation, however, later rejected it. “The army is between two huge groups. This is simply dangerous. We must remain calm, weighing every step”, Prayuth Chan-ocha said. The armed forces remain neutral in the current political conflict.

The 2010 military intervention in the conflict between political opponents in Bangkok led to deaths of 92 people. Over two thousand people were injured. Then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was the leader of the Democratic Party, and the current leader of the protesters Suthep Thaugsuban, wanted by police on charges of treason, was acting vice-premier. The General Prosecutor Office believes that it was Suthep Thaugsuban who in 2010 on behalf of Abhisit Vejjajiva ordered the troops to break up the demonstration, and that led to bloodshed.

On Thursday, General Prosecutor Office of Thailand summoned Vejjajiva for questioning with regard to the case, and Thaugsuban — on charges of incitement to murder. According to local media, the ex-premier arrived at the prosecutor's office, but the leader of the opposition sent his lawyer instead.

A group of protesters continues rallying in Bangkok at the square in front of the Government House and the square of the monument to democracy. After acting Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra refused to leave her post at the request of the opposition, Thaugsuban told his supporters that the authority would pass to the self-proclaimed People's Committee of democratic reforms. On behalf of this structure, the leader of the protest movement ordered the police “to return to their daily duties, and the army to take the buildings of state institutions to provide security”. In addition, the opposition accused Shinawatra who refused to “transfer the power to the people” committing “a coup”, and said that she would have still to answer for that crime. “We will pursue Shinawatra and all her relatives until they quit politics,” Thaugsuban said.

December 9, the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej approved a decree dissolving the National Assembly (the country’s parliament). The monarch also approved the date of new elections. From this moment, the parliament is dissolved, and the government automatically goes into the status of acting until new elections.

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