Channel NewsAsia

Little hope for early Thai polls as "right conditions" needed

The Thai junta offered little hope for early elections, saying the conditions in the divided nation had to be right before returning to civilian rule.

BANGKOK: The Thai junta offered little hope for early elections, saying the conditions in the divided nation had to be right before returning to civilian rule.

Deputy army chief of staff Chatchalerm Chalermsukh told reporters on Thursday: “I want to ask you how long it takes to heal divisions between two groups that has been going on for 10 years?

"The two sides do not have to love each other but we want the situation to stay calm and peaceful. We need a period of time for all sides to cool down."

Chatchalerm did not give more details on the conditions needed for an election. But he said there had to be reconciliation before there could be a return to civilian rule.

Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha had seized power from prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government to quell months of political turmoil.

The path towards the army takeover began late last year when protesters called for Yingluck's government to be thrown out as they sought to rid Thai politics of the influence of the Shinawatra family, which they accuse of corruption. 

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