Military summons prominent anti-coup politician over Facebook and twitter posts

The military summoned a prominent Pheu Thai politician for a discussion reportedly due to his Facebook post on the impeachment of former premier.

Military officers from the 1st Army Region Command on Thursday summoned Chaturon Chaisang, a well-known politician from the Pheu Thai Party and former Education Minister. He was reportedly summoned because he posted comments on Facebook and twitter about the impeachment of Yingluck Shinawatra, the former prime minister ousted out by the 2014 coup.

He is the second politician to be summoned by the military for commenting on Yingluck’s impeachment.

Chaturong posted on Facebook last week “The impeachment of Yingluck, the ex-Prime Minister, is not only an injustice that has happened to an individual or a family. It is a part of an injustice which has been done against the people, the destruction of democracy, an act of robbing the people’s authority without returning it, and the construction of an undemocratic system.”

Last week, Yingluck was barred from participating in politics for five years after the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) controversially impeached her over her role in alleged corruption in the rice subsidy program. The Thai authorities also launched criminal charges of corruption against Yingluck, which could put her behind bars for 10 years.

Chaturong posted on his Facebook page on Thursday that he has been summoned to the 1st Army Region Command at 3 pm. However, he did not know why he was being summoned. However, he mentioned that the military should be open to different opinions from across the political spectrum during the reform process.

“The fact that I express different opinions on Facebook is, in principle, the way I express concern for the country and what might happen in the future,” said Chaturon.

On Wednesday, the junta also summoned Surapong Tovichakchaikul, former Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister under Yingluck’s administration, for talks after he made comments supporting the controversial remarks on the junta made by US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel on Monday, "The government should understand Mr Russel's warning if they are wise, as the US is our ally, not our enemy," Bangkok  Post quoted Surapong as saying.

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