New charter allows Thai junta chief to be interim prime minister

New charter allows Thai junta chief to be interim prime minister
Thailand adopted an interim constitution yesterday, taking its first step toward the return of an electoral democracy after two months of military rule. The provisional constitution is to help kick-start the second phase of the junta’s roadmap for national reforms and reconciliation.

It would also pave the way for the establishment of a national legislative assembly (NLA), an interim government and a national reform council and empower military junta chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha.
According to deputy army commander Gen Paiboon Kumchaya, junta leader and army commander-in-chief can serve as interim prime minister under the new rules.

‘At this period, it’s like Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha is already working as the prime minister,’ Paiboon said. Wissanu Krea-Ngam, legal advisor of the junta, said that even though the constitution allows Prayuth to become prime minister, it will be up to the National Legislative Assembly to choose the interim premier.

According to the junta’s road map, a general election would be held by October next year. The military took power on May 22 in a bid to restore order in the country after months of political impasse following anti-government protests aimed at bringing down the elected government of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The new interim charter includes a special stipulation which allows for amendments giving the military junta special powers to deal with ‘uncontrollable situations’.


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