When the Thai army first seized control a couple of days ago, they initially informed citizens that it was not a coup.
They felt it was a needed response to the national unrest and political deadlock. The goal was to restore some kind of order under a brief form of martial law.
Now it seems that they’ve changed their mind; what was previously not a military coup suddenly is.
Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha announced during a Thai television broadcast on Thursday that the military commission that had declared martial law was now officially declaring a military coup.
Television broadcasts were suspended and have since been replaced with the commission’s announcements. Between the periodic announcements, patriotic music is played.
A nationwide curfew from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am was also declared.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 22, 2014
Prayuth said, “”It is necessary for the Peace and Order Maintaining Command…to take control of governing the country.”
What made the move “necessary” has been the months of unrest surrounding controversial Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Shinawatra was the target of months of protest following her attempt to force through legislation that would bring her brother Thaksin home from exile abroad. She was also accused by a Thai court of abusing power and ordered to step down.
— The Global Panorama (@TGlobalPanorama) May 22, 2014
Despite Shinawatra’s popularity with the rural majority, she is despised among the middle and upper class, who made up the majority of the protesters.
Efforts to hold new elections were continually disrupted by protesters.
— Haveeru (@haveeru) May 21, 2014
With the country in a political deadlock as talks between opposing political factions were going nowhere, the military leaders decided that they would maintain control of Thailand.
The coup has been bloodless and relatively peaceful. Some people have actually felt comfortable enough with the situation to take “selfies” with military personnel.
— AngelikMayhem (@AngelikMayhem) May 22, 2014
This latest decision to takeover by the Thai military marks the 12th coup the nation has experienced since 1932.
Image via YouTube