Thai junta says elections to be held October 2015

Many agenda points remain unclear, such as whether appointed cabinet will consist of civilian or military members.

Thai junta says elections to be held October 2015

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Thai junta’s chief, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, has detailed his political roadmap for the kingdom until the elections to be held in October 2015 “under a fully democratic system.”

During his weekly TV program - “Bring back happiness to the Thai people” – Chan-ocha said late Friday, “The interim constitution is ready and approved by legal experts. Royal endorsement will be given in July.”

A national legislative assembly and interim cabinet will be appointed in September, the chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) – the junta’s official name - said, before the establishment of a reform council that will take “around 12 months to write a permanent constitution.”

“And when it is done, the NCPO-installed cabinet will need three months to organize elections,” Chan-ocha added - without providing details on the appointment process.

Many points on the agenda regarding Thailand’s future political structure remain vague, such as whether the cabinet will consist of civilian or military members and who will compose the reform council. Most of all, the content of intended reforms remains a mystery, with the only clarification being that the “political and electoral system” will be transformed.

General Chan-ocha has not ruled out assuming the position of interim prime minister.

Before his televised announcement, unconfirmed details of the roadmap had spread through Thai media.

The Isra News website had reported this week that the national legislative assembly would be entirely NCPO-appointed, and that half its members would be military officers on active duty with the remainder being “chosen among professional groups” – a configuration typical of past military regimes.

Isra News also published that the NCPO – rather than being dissolved after the interim cabinet’s establishment - would hold the power to “take decrees on all matters” and would be in charge of national security. As of Saturday afternoon, these details had not been officially confirmed.

During Friday’s program that featured bursts of improvisation and even occasional flashes of humor, General Chan-ocha tried to counter international and domestic criticism against the junta by insisting “the limitation of freedoms was minimal.”

Since the May 22 coup that overthrew the government of dismissed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, all public expression against military rulers has been banned. Scores have been arrested for flashing a three-finger salute first used in the French revolution, but now synonymous with "The Hunger Games" series of films. Several others have faced similar consequences for reading George Orwell's critique of totalitarian society "1984” in public places.

On Thursday, the junta established five panels to monitor media content and NCPO deputy-chief Adul Saengsingkaew told local newspapers, “Any media found spreading inappropriate content will face criminal charges.”

Last Mod: 28 Haziran 2014, 13:20
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