Prayuth: No coup, I stand by the rules

Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha says no one can order him to stage a coup, and he will not listen to anyone outside the army or any orders that breach army rules and regulations.

Gen Prayuth said this in responding to a report that many senior figures had pressured the army to stage a coup to bring the country out of the political deadlock.

"I am a grown up person. Nobody can force me to do anything. I work according to the rules and regulations and will not do anything beyond the limits," he said.

Asked whether he had received letters from senior figures and former military leaders, Gen Prayuth said many people sent letters to the army and he left it to the army's secretariat to reply to them.

"Thanks for every opinion and for concerns for the army. The army belongs to all people," he said.

On a report that some former militarymen including Gen Saiyud Kerdpol, a former supreme commander, and Gen Wimol Wongwanich, a former army chief, had set up a group to find ways out for the country and that members of the group had spoken on a video clip suggesting a military coup, Gen Prayuth said they all are retirees who sometimes meet for an exchange of opinions out of concern for the country's wellbeing.

"They have not interfered in our work or told us to do anything, other than giving us moral support," Gen Prayuth said.

Asked to comment on the Feb 2 election, Gen Prayuth said it was somewhat satisfactory and the situation did not turn worse as expected.

"There were no losses.  Nobody died.  But I would rather not say whether I approve of the election," he said.

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