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Interview

Ex-army chief who ousted Thaksin backs use of coups in Thailand

Former coup leader Sonthi says the key to a lasting democracy is a large middle class

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha in 2014: A previous coup leader says Prayuth has failed to effectively address corruption.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Sonthi Boonyaratglin, a former Thai army chief commander who led the overthrow of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, sees coups as a necessary tool in his country's "immature" democracy.

Thai democracy differs "from the U.S., U.K., France, Japan or other countries in Asia," Sonthi told Nikkei in an exclusive interview. "Many coups [have taken] place in Thailand until now because the military [has] had to step in to correct immature so-called Thai-style politics."

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