Thai Army Commander Prayuth Chan-ocha has made clear that the army stands neutral and is not involved in the current political dispute between protestors and the government.

The commander made the statement on November 29 after protestors stormed the army headquarters demanding for a clear stance from the force.

This is the first time the commander has announced the army’s position since political disputes exploded this week.

Prayuth also called on protestors to promptly seek peaceful solutions to the current political deadlock.

He declared that the army is ready to protect people if injuries or loss of lives occur as a result of protest-induced violence.

The official stressed that the army calls on all parties to strictly abide by the law and democratic principles. Protestors should show restraint and not push the army to either side.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the BBC, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Sinawatra said that the Thai Government will not hold early elections in a bid to stop anti-government protests, which have entered the sixth day.

Yingluck affirmed that the government will not step back and will continue negotiating to reach an agreement.

At the same time, the leader of the opposition camp Suthep Thaugsuban announced that protestors will occupy government headquarters and some other government agencies on December 1, then call on businesses to join protests on December 2.

The statement was made after protest groups agreed to strengthen efforts to force Yingluck’s government to step down.

Suthep said protestors will target the Government House, the National Police headquarters, Bangkok Police headquarters and the Ministries of Education, Labour, Home Affairs, Trade and Foreign Affairs and the Public Relations Department.

He also demanded the formation of a 37-member committee led by him to replace the current government.

On November 30, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana said anti-government protestors’ demand to form the committee – an effort to form a new government – is a constitutional violation.

He said the supreme law of Thailand has no article allowing the formation of such a committee.
Phongthep also stressed that protestors’ occupation of state agencies are illegal. He warned that the country’s top court has subsequently sanctioned the arrest of protest leaders.-VNA