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Army chief urges calm, doesn't rule out coup

File photo : Gen Prayuth

File photo : Gen Prayuth

Army Commander in Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha on Friday urged both sides in the country's bitter political dispute to show restraint, but did not explicitly rule out the possibility of a coup.

"That door is neither open nor closed, depending on situations" the army chief, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, said in response to questions from reporters as to whether a military intervention was likely.

He also reiterated a request that people stop asking the army to take sides in the dispute.

"Please don’t bring the army into the centre of this conflict," Prayuth said.

Prayuth said the army had shown "red traffic lights to both sides, so things will calm down,’’ and called for an end to street violence. "You ask, ’Who wins?’ Who wins?’ No one,’’ he said.

On Thursday, protesters seeking to disrupt elections scheduled for Feb. 2 battled with police in clashes that left two people dead.

At the same time, Election commission called for a delay in the polls, a blow to Yingluck, who expects to win them handily thanks to her overwhelming support in the country’s north and northeast.


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