May, 22 2014 17:57:00

Thai military stages coup, takes over gov't

The Thai military forces stand in the centre of Bangkok.— Photo Reuters
BANGKOK — Thai Army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that military forces were seizing power from a caretaker government in order to restore order in a country that has been besieged by political chaos since late last year.

Prayuth declared on TV pool that leaders from rival political groups have been detained following a meeting meant to find a solution to the political crisis. He also formed the National Peacekeeping Committee to restore peace and order.

The military put the country under martial law two days ago. It is the country's 12th military coup since 1932.

"In order for the country to return to normal quickly the National Peace Keeping Committee comprised of the army, the Thai armed forces, the Royal Air Force and the police need to seize power as of May 22 at 4:30 pm," Prayut said.

He asked the public to go on their daily lives as usual.

Earlier in the day, Prayuth met with representatives from the ruling Pheu Thai Party, the opposition Democrat Party, the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), the Senate and the Election Commission (EC) all presented their ideas to the Army chief.

The meeting, however, failed to reach a conclusion.

Reports said that after talks failed at 4:10pm, Prayuth ordered a break of the meeting and representatives of the five parties were taken away in over 10 vans to the First Infantry Regiment, located next to the Army Club. — ANN/VNS

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