Thai military leaders dissolve Senate

Military says it is assuming all political power, a day after arresting former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

    Thailand's coup leaders have announced the dissolution of the country's Senate, with the military assuming all executive power in the country.

    Saturday's announcement, which was broadcast on television, stripped away the last democratic institution in the country two days after the military seized power.

    The military government suspended the constitution and dissolved the lower house of parliament on Thursday.

    Speaking from Bangkok, Al Jazeera's Veronica Pedrosa said the suspension of the Senate showed that the hawks within the military government were in the ascendancy over the doves.

    "The nature of military rule is likely to be stricter as a result," she said.

    The military says it took power to prevent more political turmoil in Thailand, where supporters of the elected populist government have been pitted against establishment-backed protesters who accuse the deposed government of corruption.

    Thursday's coup was the 12th in eight decades.

    'Safe place'

    The former prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, and scores of other politicians from both sides of the divide were taken into custody on Friday. An aide for Yingluck told the Reuters news agency that she was in a "safe place" on Saturday.

    "She has not been detained in any military camp. That's all I can say at this moment," the aide said, declining to be identified.

    A source from her Puea Thai Party said Yingluck was not absolutely free because soldiers were monitoring her, and several former ministers from her cabinet were being held in army facilities in Saraburi.

    The army' deputy spokesman, Winthai Suvaree, said that anyone being held would not be detained for more than seven days. He did not mention Yingluck.

    Yingluck was removed from office on May 7 after the country's constitutional court ruled she abused her power by removing a civil servant to benefit a relative.

    She was presiding over an interim government after she dissolved the lower house of parliament in December in a failed attempt to defuse six months of anti-government protests. A planned election was disrupted and then annulled.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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