Thailand's Army Declares Military Coup, Suspends Constitution



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Thai soldiers stand in line blocking the entrance to the Army Club in Bangkok, Thailand on May 22, 2014. Thailand's army chief announced a military takeover of the government Thursday, saying the coup was necessary to restore stability and order after six months of political deadlock and turmoil.

Thailand's military chief declared a coup d'etat on Thursday and suspended the constitution. The takeover comes just three days after the country instituted martial law.

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha announced the coup in a televised statement and appealed for people to remain calm.
"The military has to return peace and order to the country as soon as possible and to reform [the] political and social structure to ensure fairness for every side," he said. "I ask the people to remain calm and carry on with their business as usual."
Hours after the coup announcement, Thailand's military junta said it had suspended the constitution. The military confirmed in broadcast statement that the nation's caretaker government is no longer in power, but the Senate will remain in place, the Associated Press reports.


This is Thailand's 19th coup since 1932. It comes after two days of negotiations between rival political parties in Bangkok that were spurred by six months of sometimes-violent unrest between the two factions.

Thai soldiers stand guard at a roadblock outside the Defense Ministry building (background) after Thailand's army chief announced that the armed forces were seizing power, in Bangkok on May 22, 2014.
IMAGE: CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
The two group's leaders were rushed away in military vans on Thursday at Bangkok's Army Club and were reportedly told, "We will keep you together until you understand and love each other."
Soldiers with Thailand's army then stormed pro- and anti-government demonstration camps and ceased all non-military broadcasting on the country's television networks. Some international channels, however, are reportedly still on air.
"All radio and television stations, satellite and cable, must stop normal programming and broadcast army content until told otherwise," a deputy army spokesman said in a televised statement.




The channels are currently broadcasting a military messaging and playing "soothing" Thai music.
A 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew was imposed nationwide, and a Thai army spokesperson said no political protests with more than 5 people were permitted to take place anywhere, as troops spread across Thailand's capital city.

Thailand under Marshall Law

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    Thai soldiers arrive to set up roadblocks outside the main camp-site of anti-goverment protesters near the Government House after Thailand's army chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha announced that the armed forces were seizing power, in Bangkok on May 22, 2014.
    IMAGE: MANAN VATSYAYANA/GETTY IMAGES
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    A tourist walks past Thai soldiers guard on a street in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, May 22, 2014.
    IMAGE: SAKCHAI LALIT/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Thai soldiers stand guard outside Government House compound of prime minister's office in Bangkok as Thailand's army declared martial law before dawn on May 20, 2014.
    IMAGE: SAKCHAI LALIT/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    A Thai mother and daughter have their photograph taken with a soldier guarding the area near a pro-government demonstration site on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand Wednesday, May 21, 2014.
    IMAGE: WASON WANICHAKORN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Thai soldiers move in to a pro-government demonstration site after the military seized power Thursday, May 22, 2014, on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand.
    IMAGE: WASON WANICHAKORN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Anti-government demonstrators wait for their cars with their belongings as they leave their demonstration site after soldiers staged a coup Thursday, May 22, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's new military junta has announced that it has suspended the country's constitution. A military statement broadcast on national television Thursday confirmed the nation's caretaker government is no longer in power but said the Senate will remain in place.
    IMAGE: SAKCHAI LALIT/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Anti-government demonstrators carry their belongings as they leave their demonstration site after soldiers staged a coup Thursday, May 22, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.
    IMAGE: SAKCHAI LALIT/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    An armed Thai soldier is reflected in a puddle as he guards a road near a pro-government demonstration site on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, May 21, 2014.
    IMAGE: WASON WANICHAKORN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    A pro-government demonstrator shouts as she leaves a demonstration site after soldiers staged a coup, May 22, 2014 on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand.
    IMAGE: WASON WANICHAKORN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    A Soldier keeps security at the down town in Bangkok after Thai army have proclaimed martial law on Tuesday across Thailand on May 22, 2014.
    IMAGE: VINAI DITHAJOHN/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
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    Thai soldiers check their walkie talkies near an anti-government protesters camp close to Government house in Bangkok on May 22, 2014.
    IMAGE: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
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    Thai soldiers check an area as an anti-government protester, center, walks outside her camp near Government house in Bangkok on May 22, 2014.
    IMAGE: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
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    Anti-government protesters rest outside government house in Bangkok on May 22, 2014.
    IMAGE: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
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    Thai soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint outside the Defence Ministry building after Thailand's army chief announced that the armed forces were seizing power, in Bangkok on May 22, 2014.
    IMAGE: CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
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    A motorcyclist and his passenger ride past Thai soldiers standing guard at the gate to the Army Club in Bangkok, Thailand on May 22, 2014.
    IMAGE: APICHART WEERAWONG/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    A Thai soldier checks barbed wire while guarding a road near pro-government demonstration site on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand on May 21, 2014.
    IMAGE: WASON WANICHAKORN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Anti-government protesters raise fists as they sing and listen to the national anthem during a gathering on May 22, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.
    IMAGE: SAKCHAI LALIT/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    A Buddhist monk walks past a Thai soldier who provides security near the pro-government demonstration site on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, May 21, 2014.
    IMAGE: WASON WANICHAKORN/ASSOCIATED PRESS




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