World, Asia - Pacific

Thailand: 2014 coup leader scraps military rule

Newly elected Prime Minister, a former army general, Prayut Chan-o-cha cancels many orders issued during military rule

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 09.07.2019
Thailand: 2014 coup leader scraps military rule


The 2014 Thailand coup leader Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has formally put an end to half-a-decade long military rule, lifting ban on media and ending services of military courts.

Prayut issued his last order as chief of controversial National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) late Monday evening which was published by Thai royal gazette, repealing almost 66 of some 200 orders issued under NCPO since 2014, daily Bangkok Post reported.

A royal decree by King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Buddhist-majority country is expected to be issued later this night. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy since 1932.

Powerful Thai military led by Prayut threw out a civilian government on May 22, 2014 and ruled through NCPO since then. NCPO is set to be disbanded when Prayut’s cabinet is formally sworn-in in coming days.

Thailand held its general elections after being delayed many a times early this year in March for 500-seat parliament. However, NCPO through an order in 2017 made 250-member senate eligible to vote in Prime Minister’s election which proved crucial in Prayut’s election as premier in June.

Prayut led Palang Pracharant Party in elections and will lead a coalition government.

“The strongman [Prayut Chan-o-cha] who has held the country by his firm grip after the 2014 military coup for half a decade will continue to rule it for another four years, minus the special powers that grant him immunity for his actions in the past, present and future,” Bangkok Post reported.

The NCPO order transferred all cases being tried by Thai military courts to “the courts of justice”.

The report, however, said that some of the NCPO orders have been enshrined in the new Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) law.

The opposition parties have said that the restructured ISOC can summon and detain people for questioning without a warrant for several days on grounds of suspicion. Similar cases were reported under NCPO’s Section 44 orders, the report added.

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