Thai military bans political party meetings

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Location of Thailand

Thailand's Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy (CDRM) on Thursday banned political party meetings of more than five people on national television. Moreover there is also a ban on new political parties from being formed. However political parties still have the right to exist. The military also promised that civilian rule will be restored within a year. Meanwhile the military is taking hold of all duties and responsibilities of the parliament.

On Tuesday the coup leaders suspended the 1997 constitution and imposed martial law. This prompted concern over the international level. The U.S. warned on Thursday that any ban on political parties would be a 'setback' for democracy.

The army issued the following statement shown on national television:

To ensure the constitutional monarchy is functioning after reforms have been completed, the Council for Democratic Reform Under Constitutional Monarchy has ordered political parties to halt all meetings and political activities.

– Thai military spokesman

Thai citizens returned to work on Thursday ever since Tuesday's coup. Bangkok appeared to have returned to normal even though there were tanks on the streets as well as soldiers manning major traffic checkpoints.