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Thai coup 2014: Elections will not be held for more than a year


Thailand’s military coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha has said elections will not be held for more than a year, to allow time for political reconciliation and reform.

In a televised address, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha called on all sides to co-operate and stop protesting.

He repeated warnings against any resistance to the military.

Thailand's military coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha has said elections will not be held for more than a year, to allow time for political reconciliation and reform

Thailand’s military coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha has said elections will not be held for more than a year, to allow time for political reconciliation and reform (photo Reuters)

The Thai army seized power on May 22, and detained senior politicians for several days saying stability had to be restored after months of unrest.

In his first public address since the coup, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said: “The ruling military regime have a timeframe of one year and three months to move towards elections.

“Enough time has been wasted on conflict.”

He said a first phase of about three months would focus on “reconciliation” with a cabinet and new draft constitution put in place.

Reforms would then be introduced over a second, year-long, period and only after this could elections be held.

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

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha has previously warned that if protests continued he would have no choice but to use force.

In his address he repeated the warnings, saying resistance would only slow the process of bringing “happiness” back to the Thai people.

Also on Friday, hundreds of troops sealed off a major Bangkok intersection during the evening rush hour to prevent a possible protest.

Thailand’s military stepped in after six months of political deadlock as protesters tried to oust the government of PM Yingluck Shinawatra.

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