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New Thai Premier Should Work to Restore Democracy


Prayuth Chan-ocha speaks after he accepted a written royal command issued by King Bhumibol Adulyadej certifying his appointment.

The United States remains concerned about the limits that have been imposed on freedom of speech and assembly by the military.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha was chosen as the new prime minister of Thailand August 21 by the National Legislative Assembly. The vote was unanimous with the general being the only candidate considered. His appointment received the endorsement of King Bhumibol Adulyadej soon thereafter.

The junta took command in May to end months of political protests that had paralyzed the government and set off sporadic violence in which 28 people were killed and perhaps hundreds injured. Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was deposed and briefly detained.

Since then, the junta, calling itself the National Council for Peace and Order, has adopted a temporary constitution and appointed the National Legislative Assembly that selected General Chan-ocha as Prime Minister. It has also outlined a “roadmap” with elections slated to take place late 2015.

The United States remains concerned about the limits that have been imposed on freedom of speech and assembly by the military. We hope the selection of a prime minister marks a concrete step towards returning Thailand to a popularly elected civilian government. We urge the interim government, once formed, to institute an inclusive reform process that reflects the diversity of views within Thailand.

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