Thai opposition leader denies he will head "people's army"

17:19, February 04, 2010      

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The leader of Thailand's major opposition party Thursday denied he would head the so-called people's army after it was reported the leading anti-government group "red-shirts" are setting up such an army.

Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, chairman of Pheu Thai Party, was quoted by the Nation online as saying that it is impossible for him to lead such an army because his brother, Gen Songkitti Jakkrabatra, who is the Supreme Commander of Thailand, will feel uneasy.

The former prime minister said he had announced before re- entering politics last year that he would try to create reconciliation.

Pheu Thai Party member Gen. Pallop Pinmanee also said Chavalit would not be the supreme commander because the red-shirts would not form an armed force.

Pallop and army specialist Maj-Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol, returned to Thailand Thursday after visiting fugitive ex-Premier Thaksin Shinawatra in Dubai.

The remarks by Chavalit and Pallop were to respond the earlier report that Pallop had said in an interview from Dubai that the red-shirts, Thaksin's supporters, had agreed to set up a "people's army" with Chavalit as supreme commander to fight for democracy and against double standards in government and the courts.

To this report, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva Thursday urged the Thai people to remain clam as the government will be careful to assess the movement.

The country has laws and everybody needs to abide by the laws, hence there is no reason for anyone in the society to resort to violence, Abhisit said.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, who is in charge of security affairs, said earlier the day that he will not allow any illegal army to incite violence or threaten the government since it will damage the country's national interest.

Source: Xinhua
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