Head of Army confirms coup

BANGKOK: At 9:23 am, 23 minutes behind schedule, Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkarin, Army Chief and leader of the Administrative Reform Council (ARC), along with the Chiefs of the Royal Thai Navy, Air Force and Police announced that they had successfully seized power.

Gen Sonthi announced that the Constitution of 1997 had been withdrawn and the senate, parliament, ministerial cabinet, and constitutional court had all been dissolved. He continued that the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces along with the Heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Police all backed the move.

He said that the rule of the acting government had caused deep divisions in society as had never before occurred in Thailand and that the administration of the country had been widely mismanaged, corrupt and had been run for the benefit of the government’s cronies.

He added that the government had also interfered in the work of independent bodies to the extent that they could not perform their duty or solve the nations problems.

If the situation was allowed to continue it would have consequences to national security and the economy, therefore the ARC had to step in and seize power to bring the situation under control and return the country back to normality, he said.

Gen Sonthi assured the population that the council had no intention of ruling the country permanently and would return power to the people under the constitutional monarchy as soon as possible and would uphold peace, stability and the monarchy.

He concluded by asking the people to remain calm and to help the Council achieve their aims.

Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura is currently unavailable for comment as all provincial governors have been called to report themselves to their regional military command. Therefore Governor Udomsak this morning traveled to Krabi to report to the army’s Region 4 Command.

Airport Director Sq/Ldr Pornchai Eua-aree this morning confirmed that all flights are continuing as normal and that troops from Krabi are now managing security at the airport.

Phuket News
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