Thai military chief rejects coup rumors

AP News
Posted: Apr 05, 2011 5:54 AM
Thai military chief rejects coup rumors

Thailand's top military brass has issued a joint statement saying there will not be a coup, seeking to dispel rumors as politics heat up ahead of expected elections later this year.

Supreme Armed Forces Commander Gen. Songkitti Jaggabatara told a news conference Tuesday: "Please stop believing that the military will stage a coup. Definitely not."

He made the comments alongside the Army, Navy and Air Force chiefs after a monthly meeting. Senior military officials have made similar comments but not as a unified group.

Military coups are a common feature of modern Thai political history. There have been 18 coups since the 1930s including the most recent that ousted divisive ex-leader Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006.