Thailand’s army has announced a military takeover of the government claiming that the coup was necessary to restore stability and order after six months of political deadlock and turmoil.
The announcement was made Thursday on a national television by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Thailand’s army chief.
“It is necessary for the Peace and Order Maintaining Command — which includes army, navy, armed forces and police — to take control of governing the country,” Prayuth said, flanked by the heads of the armed forces.
Thailand has been under the siege of political instability for more than seven years.
Since the country’s absolute monarchy was abrogated in 1932, Thailand had witnessed 11 coups before the one announced on Thursday which brings the number to 12. The military was widely viewed as sympathetic to the protesters seeking to oust the current government.
The latest round of unrest, which began in November 2013, was sparked off by demonstrators’ move to unseat Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister who was accused of being a proxy for Thaksin Shinawatra, former Prime Minister and her brother.
Thaksin, a billionaire, was ousted in 2006 through a military coup, and now lives in self-imposed exile to avoid a jail sentence on a corruption conviction.
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