Thai king approves interim constitution

Thailand's army has said that the country's king has endorsed an interim constiutiton put forward by the military.

    The army has taken up positions outside Bangkok's royal palace

    "The king has approved the interim constitution," the military said in a statement read on national television at precisely 9.29am local time on Sunday, considered an auspicious time in Thai culture.

    Bhumibol Adulyadej's endorsement came after the leaders of the military coup, now grouped in the Council for Democratic Reform (CDR), promised to hand power to a civilian government before their self-imposed two-week deadline expires on October 4.

    The interim constitution guarantees basic human rights, installs a 36-member cabinet which will be able to pass laws and creates an assembly of 2,000 representatives to select a panel to write a new constitution, the military said.

    The 39-article charter transforms the CDR into the Council for National Security, which will oversee national security.

    It will also have the power to approve - and veto - the appointment of people to key government positions including the national assembly.

    Military coup

    The military abolished a 1997 constitution after seizing power from Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister, in a bloodless coup on September 19.

    They have said that the previous constitution had too many "loopholes" which allowed Thaksin and his supporters to profit from widespread corruption.

    Colonel Akara Thiprot, a spokesman for the junta, said that the appointment of a new prime minister would be announced later on Sunday.

    It is widely believed that this will be a former army commander, Surayud Chulanont, a retired general who has served as a close adviser to the popular constitutional monarch.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.