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October 31, 2014
Friday, May 23, 2014

Thai military detains former PM Yingluck Shinawatra

Riot police officers stand guard at an army club during a military coup in Bangkok.

Thailand's military government detained today former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and members of her family after summoning her and other ministers for talks a day after the military seized power from her caretaker government.

"We have detained Yingluck, her sister and brother-in-law," a senior military officer told Reuters. The two relatives have held top political posts.

"We will do so for not more than week, that would be too long. We just need to organize matters in the country first," said the officer, who declined to say where Yingluck was being held.

The General's plan

Thai army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha set out his plans for the country today, a day after seizing power in a coup, saying reforms were needed before an election can be held and enlisting the help of the civil service.

Prayuth launched his coup after rival factions refused to give ground in a struggle for power between the royalist establishment and a populist government that had raised fears of serious violence and damaged the economy.

"I want all civil servants to help organize the country," he said. "We must have economic, social and political reforms before elections. If the situation is peaceful, we are ready to return power to the people."

Yingluck is the sister of Thaksin Shinawatra, a billionaire telecommunications tycoon turned politician who won huge support among the poor but the loathing of the royalist establishment, largely over accusations of corruption and nepotism. He was ousted as premier in a military coup in 2006.

Yingluck arrived at the army facility at noon, a Reuters witness said. Prayuth was there at the same time but there was no confirmation they had met.

After Prayuth had left, nine vans with tinted windows were seen leaving but it was not clear if Yingluck was in one of them or where they were going. An aide to a minister in the ousted government who declined to be identified said some people, including his minister, had been detained.


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Tags:  Thailand  coup  military  elections  crisis  





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