– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community
PHUKET: Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha today on national television at 5 pm announced a coup over the government of Thailand.
The announcement was made after detaining leaders of rival political groups at a meeting that was intended to seek a solution to the political crisis.
In a televised announcement, Gen Prayuth declared that the National Peace Keeping Committee was formed to seize power.
He said the coup was necessary to protect the life of the people.
“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 4:30pm,” Gen Prayuth said.
He asked the public to go on their daily lives as usual.
The army has taken control of the government to restore order and push through political reform.
Thailand will take care of foreigners and continue relations with foreign countries, he said.
Gen Prayuth, the national police chief and the heads other armed forces publicly announced the coup live on national television after a seven-party meeting at the Army Club to resolve ongoing political deadlock failed.
The meeting mediated by Gen Prayuth was attended by representatives of the red-shirt movement, the government, the Pheu Thai Party, the Democrat Party, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, the Senate and the Election Commission.
After talks broke down, Gen Prayuth at 4:10pm declared the meeting was over and the representatives were taken away to the First Infantry Regiment, located next to the Army Club.
— Phuket Gazette Editors