Military coup leader presents agenda to stabilize Thailand

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ochra, who launched a military coup in Thailand on May 22 after six months of political turmoil and violent unrest, presented a plan on Friday for Thailand to move forward with reconciliation, reforms, and elections.
By JC Finley  |  May 30, 2014 at 4:32 PM
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BANGKOK, May 30 (UPI) -- Following a military coup in Thailand on May 22, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha has set forth a time frame for national reconciliation, government reforms, and elections.

"Enough time has been wasted on conflict," the military coup leader said Friday during a televised address.

He outlined two phases to help the country move forward from political turmoil that has engulfed the country since anti-government protests began in November.

In the first phase, projected to take three months, the country will focus on reconciliation efforts, including replacing Cabinet ministers and implementing a new constitution.

The second phase, over a period of a year, will introduce reforms.

Elections could be held once these two phases are complete, he said.

"Give us time to solve the problems for you. Then the soldiers will step back to look at Thailand from afar," he promised.

The anti-government protests, led by the People's Democratic Reform Committee, began in November 2013. The protesters sought the removal of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, whom they accused of acting on behalf of her brother, ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Following six months of protests, Yingluck was removed from her position as prime minister in early May by a Constitutional Court ruling that found her guilty of abuse of power.

The opposition Democrat Party then rallied for the removal of her caretaker government and called for an unelected interim government.

The military declared a coup on May 22 after warning that continued violent unrest would force the military to intervene.

At least 28 people died during the course of the protests.

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