Sunday 23 November 2014

Thailand: Junta rules out prompt election

Published 29/05/2014 | 10:12

A protester tapes his mouth closed during anti-coup protests in Bangkok, Thailand. Widespread Facebook outage occurred in Thailand on Wednesday afternoon while the ruling military junta who staged a coup last week denied that they caused it. The Thai military has warned Thai citizens about expressing dissent using social media. Thailand is known as a country with a very unstable political record and is now experiencing it's 12th coup with 7 attempted pervious coups.  (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
A protester tapes his mouth closed during anti-coup protests in Bangkok, Thailand. Widespread Facebook outage occurred in Thailand on Wednesday afternoon while the ruling military junta who staged a coup last week denied that they caused it. The Thai military has warned Thai citizens about expressing dissent using social media. Thailand is known as a country with a very unstable political record and is now experiencing it's 12th coup with 7 attempted pervious coups. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Thailand's ruling junta says it has no desire to "cling to power" but it gave no clear time frame for when it will allow free elections to take place.

Lieutenant General Chatchalerm Chalermsukh told a news conference today that it was "impossible to hold an election at the moment" because there are still protests in the country.

Since the military intervention took place a week ago, there have been almost daily anti-coup protests in Bangkok.

Holding an election "will take some time, but if you ask me how long, it's difficult to answer", he said.

Last Thursday, Thailand's army seized power, overthrowing an elected government that won a landslide vote three years earlier.

The army says it acted to restore order after seven months of increasingly violent political turbulence.

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