Pro-Election Rallies Causing ‘Chaos,’ Army Chief Says

Apirat Kongsompong
Apirat Kongsompong

BANGKOK — The nation’s army chief said protesters insisting that elections go ahead as planned next month are inciting “chaos.”

With voting likely to be put off for the fifth time in as many years, army Chief Gen. Apirat Kongsompong said pro-democracy demonstrators who have resumed protests are irritating other members of the public.

“There are people like this in Thai society. I don’t know what to say … they want chaos. … I think those who understand are irritated, Apirat said. “There are people who want to lead a normal life and make a living.”

He added that the election could not be considered “delayed” because the date wasn’t formally set by the Election Commission, which for its part, has said it could not so so without a signed royal decree that did not appear as expected recently.

Apirat added that protests to not care about the coronation of His Majesty the King, which was recently announced for the first week of May.

Protesters gathered again at 5pm on Sunday at Ratchaprasong Intersection in downtown Bangkok to insist that Election Day can go forward as planned on Feb. 24 without interfering with the May 4 coronation. Some rallies have been held outside the capital as well.

Mocking the army chief, the Democracy Restoration Group, which has organized the small rallies, fired back in a post online.

“There are people like this in Thai society. They gather to usurp power from the people and use weapons bought by taxpayer money to threaten people for their own benefit,” the Saturday post read.

“Some became prime minister, some ministers … and they do whatever they can to delay elections and extend their stay in power. It’s these people who do not know their duty who have caused chaos to the country countless times,” it continued.