Thai Coup Leader Promises Deadline
Posted on Sep 20, 2006
Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratglin, who led a military coup in Thailand on Tuesday against controversial Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, has promised to relinquish power in two weeks. After declaring martial law and abolishing every branch of the democratically elected government, the military announced it would appoint an interim prime minister and legislature that would draft a new constitution, with an election to be held in one year.
In the news conference on Wednesday evening, Gen Sonthi claimed he was acting in line with the wishes of the Thai people, blaming government mismanagement for forcing coup leaders to act.
But he denied the military wanted a permanent hold on power, attempting to reassure his audience by putting a deadline on how long he would remain in power.
“We have two weeks. After two weeks, we will step out,” he said.
He said coup leaders were considering candidates to appoint as the new prime minister, who would rule until fresh elections in a year’s time.