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Prayuth Chan-ocha: ‘No one else could do the job’

Thailand’s prime minister talks about his military takeover, press freedom, poverty, and constitutional reform.

After weeks of unrest in Thailand between groups supporting and opposing the democratically-elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the country’s military forces made their move. 

We do not need power-seeking politicians to cause trouble and benefit by ruling the country for the sake of their political party and themselves. I will not let that happen.

by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha

Early in the morning on May 20, 2014, the head of the Thai army, General Prayuth Chan-ocha declared martial law. Shortly thereafter, he took over as prime minister and promised to bring the country to a better place.

He promised a new constitution and said he would bring “happiness” and reconciliation to the people.

But his critics have issued fierce denunciations of his leadership.

Opposition groups complain they have been banned from political work. They say drafts of the new constitution aims to give vast power to the military and is therefore a threat to democracy.

They also accuse the prime minister of increasingly undermining the media, even personally threatening journalists.

Prayuth Chan-ocha, the prime minister of Thailand, sat down with Talk to Al Jazeera to respond to his critics and discuss his military takeover, press freedoms in Thailand, the migrant crisis and human trafficking, poverty, the constitutional reforms he is working on, and what will happen when elections take place.

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