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Coup Leader Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha Outlines Stages to New Elections

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General Prayuth Chan-ocha, above, Thailand’s acting premier after the coup, ordered political leaders to report to him at Thai army headquarters in Bangkok.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha, above, Thailand’s acting premier after the coup, ordered political leaders to report to him at Thai army headquarters in Bangkok.

BANGKOK – Coup leader Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha has issued guidelines for officials to follow so the country can advance toward an election and full democracy, army deputy spokeswoman Sirichan Ngathong said on thursday reported in the Bangkok Post.

Col Sirichan said Gen Prayuth, head of the National Council for Peace and Order, issued his directions in a video conference with heads of various sections set up by the NCPO.

Authorities should take three steps: quickly restore normal administration to the country; create favourable conditions, including the establishment of a legislative council and a reform council; and work toward holding elections under a full-fledged democracy.

Gen Prayuth wanted this done as soon as possible, but did not set a timeframe. He instructed heads of the six working sections under the NCPO to keep him well briefed on their progress, she said.

Gen Prayuth also stressed that the new budget bill must be based on equality and urgency in responding to the people’s needs, without causing a debt burden or breaching financial and monetary discipline. The interests of the majority must be paramount.

On the legislative process and improvement of the justice system, Gen Prayuth wants to see strong enforcement of the law, the spokeswoman said.

The junta leader said the NCPO’s advisory team members can submit their opinions to him through the council’s secretariat for follow up.

Gen Prayuth planned to report on the situation and developments of the NCPO’s operations to the people. The format for doing this is still being drawn up.

Gen Prayuth had no intention to block communications via social media such as Facebook, which went down briefly yesterday, Line or Instagram. Action would be taken only against websites which provoke conflict and divisiveness among the people, and that infringe on the monarchy.

Col Winthai Suwari, the NCPO spokesman, said the council has not considered the appointment of a new prime minister or a cabinet. It would initially concentrate on restoring peace and order in the country and solving the people’s immediate problems, as well as the establishment of a reconciliation centre.

Regarding people who had been summoned but had not yet reported to the NCPO, their financial transactions would be frozen and orders given to track them down.

For those who have fled abroad, the NCPO has measures to get them, but not to the extent of assigning embassies to do it. The NCPO will mainly find the clues to their whereabouts from their close associates, Col Winthai said.

Concerning Verapat Pariyawong, an academic ordered to report to the NCPO, Col Winthai said the man had contacted the NCPO saying that he is unable to do so now because he has work engagements in England. The NCPO advised him to submit an explanation in writing to show he has no intention to defy its order.

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