< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Leader of Coup in Thailand Sets Timetable

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Leader of Coup in Thailand Sets Timetable

From the New York Times:

Thailand will probably not restore democracy for at least a year, Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin, the commander who seized power in a bloodless coup, announced today.

Speaking to reporters for the first time since tanks and troops under his command took to the streets of the capital late Tuesday night, General Sondhi offered a political timetable for the country’s democratic rehabilitation. An interim government would be chosen within two weeks, he said, and the process of writing a new constitution would follow.

“Drafting a new constitution should not take more than one year,” General Sondhi said; new elections could be then expected sometime around October 2007.

As Thais awoke this morning to news of the coup, General Sondhi’s junta sought to consolidate its control, banning public gatherings, threatening to shut down or block telecommunications and urging “farmers and laborers” — many of whom are strong supporters of the ousted government — to stay out of politics.

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