World Bulletin/News Desk
The Thai junta lifted its curfew nationwide Friday, saying the situation had returned to normal and violence had ceased across the country.
The 12 a.m.-4 a.m. curfew - imposed after the military seized power May 22 - had already been lifted in 25 of the country's 77 provinces, mostly tourist areas, but it was still in place in Bangkok, provoking discontent among pub, bar and restaurants owners looking to benefit from the football World Cup 2014.
Due to the time difference between Thailand and World Cup hosts Brazil, most matches are broadcast live during the night in the Kingdom.
In his regular Friday TV address, Junta Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha said he was “considering lifting the curfew in all areas as soon as possible.”
A few minutes after his “Bringing back happiness to the Thai people” bulletin ended, an order from the junta declared it over.
During his address, Chan-ocha repeated that a government would be in place “by September.”
He added that an interim constitution and a National Legislative Assembly would be established by October.
“The administration of the country will be undertaken by a government and cabinet. They will move the country in a direction very similar to the administration in normal circumstances,” he said.
He had earlier promised that “fully democratic elections” would take place at least a year after the establishment of the government.
The substance of coming reforms remains a mystery, but most analysts suspect they will aim to reduce the role of elected politicians in order to prevent political allies of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a 2006 coup, leading the country.
The military overthrew the latest pro-Thaksin government - this time led by his siter, Yingluck - May 22, abrogated the constitution and dissolved the Senate, the only standing legislative assembly.
Since then, they have concentrated power, and exerted total control of the country.Last Mod: 13 Haziran 2014, 22:15