Junta leader blames Thai crisis on 'too much democracy'

The protracted political crisis that has rocked Thailand for the past decade is the result of "too much democracy," said Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the retired army chief who seized power from an elected government in a military coup last May, at the Convention for the Federation of Thai Industries in Bangkok on Monday.  

"Our country has seen so much trouble because we have had too much democracy, unlike other countries where the government has more power to restrict freedoms," Gen. Prayuth, who is now chairman of the ruling junta and Prime Minister, told investors and businessmen at a conference in Bangkok today. "Even the media can’t criticize [those leaders], like they do here. I insist that today, we are 99 percent democratic, because I didn't overthrow democracy at all."

Gen. Prayuth continued, "I can’t even stop people from opposing me at this moment. If I genuinely had complete power, I would have imprisoned [critics] or handed them to a firing squad. It would be over, I wouldn't have to wake up at night like this. Today there are some people who love me, but there are also many people who hate me. But please know that I am not doing for this myself. I am here to work for the country."

Read more on Khaosod English 

Advertisements

Since 2007, Prachatai English has been covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite the risk and pressure from the law and the authorities. However, with only 2 full-time reporters and increasing annual operating costs, keeping our work going is a challenge. Your support will ensure we stay a professional media source and be able to expand our team to meet the challenges and deliver timely and in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: service@prachatai.com, please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”