Thailand’s Army Chief Rules Out Coup as Protesters Plan Strike

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a man wearing a costume: Narongpan Jittkaewtae Thailand's newly appointed Royal Thai Army chief, General Narongphan Jitkaewtae on Oct. 5.


© Photographer: MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP
Narongpan Jittkaewtae Thailand’s newly appointed Royal Thai Army chief, General Narongphan Jitkaewtae on Oct. 5.

Thailand’s new army chief said there was “zero chance” for a military coup now and urged all parties to avoid creating conditions that would lead to violence amid growing anti-government protests.

“We should make the possibility for such action to go below zero. All parties must help,” Narongpan Jittkaewtae, who took over as the army chief last week, said at a news briefing in Bangkok Tuesday. “Political problems must be solved by politics.”

Narongpan is now leading a powerful institution that’s led several coups that overthrew elected governments, including the most recent one in 2014 when Prayuth Chan-Ocha, then army chief, took power. Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, a banned opposition leader, said last week he wouldn’t

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