Thailand’s military junta may prolong martial law

The military has intervened repeatedly in Thai politics in past decades.

By: Press Trust of India | Bangkok | Published: July 11, 2014 3:39 pm
A recent poll showed that several people were happy with the way the military was governing the country. (Source: AP) A recent poll showed that several people were happy with the way the military was governing the country. (Source: AP)

Thailand’s military junta has hinted at the possibility of continuing martial law for the duration of the interim charter, which is expected to last about a year, media reports said on Friday.

General Paiboon Kumchaya, assistant army chief and head of law and judicial affairs of the special body, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), said he believed the interim constitution would be implemented this month as earlier predicted by army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

A recent poll showed that several people were happy with the way the military was governing the country.

The charter has already been scrutinised and approved by the council.

It is now being forwarded for royal endorsement though it is not known at this stage when the process will be finished, Paiboon said.

It remains unclear, however, if martial law, declared on May 20, would be retained when and after the charter is promulgated.

“It is always possible to keep martial law in place after the interim charter comes into force,” Paiboon said.

The charter provides the legal basis for establishing a national legislative assembly, a reform council and a constitution drafting body.

They are expected to finish their work some time in the middle of next year when a new permanent constitution is promulgated.

“We need a bit of time to think this through. We also have to take into consideration the image of the country,” Paiboon said.

The Thai military declared martial law to maintain order in the troubled Southeast Asian nation after over six months of violent protests against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra that claimed 28 lives and left hundreds wounded.

The military has intervened repeatedly in Thai politics in past decades.

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