This content is not available in your region

Thai army oust PM and seizes Bangok

Thai army oust PM and seizes Bangok
Text size Aa Aa

The Thai army has taken control of Bangkok. Tanks and troops took over Government House in the country’s first coup in 15 years without a shot being fired and dismissed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. A spokesman for the army said the constitution would be revoked the constitution and promised a swift return to democracy after political reforms.

Armoured vehicles and soldiers took up position on many street corners, but life in most of Bangkok continued much as usual with traffic moving through rain drenched streets and the airport operating normally. The army told all soldiers to report to base and banned unauthorised troop movements, suggesting the military leadership was worried that Thaksin loyalists in the armed forces might attempt a counter-coup.

Weerasak Kohsurat, a deputy minister in a previous government, said he believed royal adviser Sumate Tantivejakul would steer the political reform process. Elections would be called when it was done and Thaksin, Thailand’s longest serving elected prime minister, would be allowed to take part, he said. Thaksin himself was scheduled to address the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, and it was not immediately clear when he would return to Bangkok.