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Prawit attacks ex-NCPO member for ‘defecting’

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DEPUTY PREMIER Prawit Wongsuwan yesterday described a retired senior military officer joining a new anti-junta political party as “ungrateful” and “a chameleon”.

General Prawit, who is also defence minister, hit back at General Yossanan Raicharoen, who had earlier criticised the ruling junta, for applying to join the Thai Raksa Chart Party. 
Thai Raksa Chart is dominated by politicians from the previously ruling Pheu Thai Party and is viewed by some political observers as having strong links with fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who has also been critical of the junta.
Prawit said yesterday that he found it “strange” for Yossanan to criticise the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) even though he worked for it before retiring.
“He had been with us all along. Then he suddenly attacked the NCPO. He has clearly forgotten the kindness he received [from us],” Prawit said at the Defence Ministry.
Prawit added that while Yossanan was with the junta, he “supported it well” and yet he has changed. When asked if the general-turned-politician had “changed his colours like a chameleon”, Prawit responded: “Yes, just like a chameleon.”
Meanwhile, Thaksin lobbed a thinly veiled attack against Prawit in a Twitter message yesterday, saying: “Military officers who volunteer to work in politics in a straightforward manner deserve more praise than those who gain power through a coup. Don’t you think so, Pom [referring to the defence minister by his nickname]?” 
On Tuesday, Yossanan said he had applied to become a member of Thai Raksa Chart, because it held the democratic ideology. 
“Democracy is really important these days. It can help Thailand move forward, help the economy grow and improve the well-being of the people. 
“I would like to call on all military officers to stand by the people. It’s no longer time for dictatorships to rule the country. The lesson we learned over the past four years after the coup shows that the country has not progressed, people are suffering and the economy has stopped growing,” Yossanan said.
In response to Prawit’s labelling him “ungrateful”, he said he did not want to counter-attack, adding “I believe people will understand”. 

Published : November 21, 2018