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Thailand seeks to reassure UN

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United Nations (Agencies)

Thailand sought to reassure the world this morning (Thailand time) that the military coup was just a short interlude on the road to democracy, necessary to carry out crucial reforms.


Ambassador Laxanachantorn Laohaphan told the General Assembly in a speech that ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was to make just before his ouster:


"With the resilience of the Thai society, you can be assured that Thailand will emerge as a stronger and more vibrant democracy."


Ms Laxanachantorn added:


"We will ensure a swift return to democracy with a definite timeline. An interim constitution will be promulgated in the coming days, with the military being placed under the constitution once more.


"We can expect that one of the first tasks of the new civilian government will be to do away with martial law."


The ruling military council has ordered political parties to halt all activities, warned media not to distribute news that could disturb the peace, and banned public gatherings of more than five people.


The military has promised to hand over power to a civilian regime within two weeks and hold a general election by October next year. The ambassador repeated promises by the Council for Democratic Reform that a permanent constitution would be in place within a year, too, with an eye to setting up watchdogs to ensure that too much power isn't accumulated by the prime minister's office.


"It is the hope of the Thai people that as a result of constitutional reform, independent organizations to be re-established under the new constitution will become more effective in carrying out their tasks in checking and monitoring the work of the executive branch of government," she said.


"That is a challenge and a promise."

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