Surapong voices support for martial law

national May 16, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Former deputy prime minister and foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul on Friday expressed his support for the declaration of martial law by the Army.

Surapong said if the Army were to declare martial law nationwide, the new election could be held smoothly.
Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha indicated Thursday that he might have to resort to martial law if political violence escalates, saying the army might have to deploy troops to control the situation.
“Martial law is the highest level of measures to ensure security. I believe the armed forces have prepared measures to enforce it,” Surapong said.
Surapong was speaking to reporters at the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order. He said he would continue to work as the CAPO adviser until the order for him to be removed from the post is announced in the Royal Gazette.
He said he would like to thank the Army chief for issuing a statement Thursday to warn political opponents to behave or the Army might have to deploy a full force of troops to keep security.
Surapong said he would like the Army chief to take action against leaders of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, adding that troops are also officers who could make arrests.
He said the government’s opponents would like to encourage the military leaders to stage a coup but the top brass has made it clear that it would not seize power.
“But they may control the situation to prevent violence by declaring martial law, which is not a coup,” Surapong said.
“If martial law is declared, the military will run the operation to maintain security and the CAPO will not get involved. And I believe that if the martial law is declared nationwide, the election can be held.”

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