Inside Story

Thailand crisis: can martial law help?

Army chief summons political rivals after declaring military rule to "ensure law and order".

Last updated: 21 May 2014 22:38
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Thailand's army chief has been justifying the imposition of martial law, insisting it is not a coup. General Prayuth Chan-Ocha's decision follows months of protests, part of a political power struggle dating back to 2006.

His first order of business was to summon Thailand's main power brokers for face-to-face talks, as the army sought to restore stability, and find common ground for an eventual solution.

The two sides are broadly split. Supporters of the deposed prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, are known as 'Red Shirts', and typically rural and working class.

Then there is the anti-government movement, which includes 'Yellow Shirts', who are predominantly urban and middle class. They want an interim, unelected government to implement reforms. 

So can the army act as mediator to Thailand's polarised political rivals? Or will the military try to impose its own solution?

Presenter: Dareen Abughaida

Guests: Dominic Faulder - a Bangkok-based journalist and author

Nattakorn Devakula - a TV host and political analyst, and a former independent candidate for Bangkok governor

Kasit Piromya - a member of the policy committee of the opposition Democrat Party, and a former Thai ambassador



Al Jazeera
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