Thai PM declares end of military rule

(NST) – Coup leader General Prayuth Chan o-cha today declared Thailand military rule comes to an end as the new civilian cabinet is expected to be sworn in tomorrow.

More than four months after the March 24 General Election, the new cabinet will be swearing in before King Maha Vajiralongkorn tomorrow in Dusit Palace. This indicates the NCPO’s term will come to an end where the NCPO and cabinet will complete their term and relinquish their duties tomorrow.

In a televised address to the nation, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) said Thailand is now fully governed as a democratic country with a constitutional monarch possessing a parliament that is elected and a government endorsed by parliament.

Five years after he seized power in May 2014, Prayuth said Thailand has revived its integrity and prestige as a competitive nation, an investment hub and top tourist destination.

He said the military government also received international recognition in fields such as ease of doing business in the kingdom, transparency, competitiveness, civil aviation, combating human trafficking, foreign labour and fisheries.

“Six to seven years ago, Thailand was perceived as a state on the brink of collapse. We have proven that with determination and strength of will, we can revive our integrity and prestige, law and order and other strong points our nation is famed for… We have clearly shown to the world the strength of our unity and the unique beauty of our culture.

“Thailand is now fully a democratic country. Several rights and liberties are safeguarded by the constitution in line with the highest international norms and pending problems will be solved through democratic processes without the application of any special powers,” he said.

Last week, King Maha Vajiralongkorn endorsed Prayuth’s new civilian cabinet from a 19-party coalition government.

Prayuth is expected to hold the first cabinet meeting at the Government House after the swearing in ceremony.

As the head of the NCPO and the Prime Minister of this government on its last day, Prayuth bid farewell and thanked all Thai citizens and government officials for their close cooperation with the NCPO.

“During this period, many objectives were achieved by you in your own capacity voluntarily and in accordance with the law.

“I would like to ask the people of Thailand and all government officials to fully cooperate with the new government and legislative branch in maintaining and preserving the democratic system with our monarch as the head of state and the peace and order of society as well as the Thai way of life and culture,” he said.

Prayuth is expected to deliver his policy statement starting July 25 to 27.

“From then onward, we will tackle the key challenges facing the country including the disbursement of the 2020 Budget, core economic issues, the price of products and agricultural produce, social problems, issues concerning standards of living, state welfare, and the development of people’s quality of life.

“These measures will be accelerated and implemented continuously in line with the Constitution, the National Strategy and the Government’s Policy Statement addressed to Parliament,” he said.