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US rejects Thai junta's year-long roadmap to elections

Published on May 31, 2014 6:25 AM
Thai army chief and junta head General Prayuth Chan-ocha speaks to journalists during a news conference at the Royal Thai Army headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 26, 2014.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States on Friday flatly rejected a plan laid out by Thailand's junta chief to delay elections for more than a year to allow time for political reforms.

"We know that they have announced a, quote, 'road map toward democracy', but with scant details included," State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said.

She insisted that Washington believed the best path forward was "to set a timeline for early elections and to facilitate an inclusive and transparent electoral process". In his first televised national address after announcing the army takeover last week, junta chief Prayut Chan-ocha said the new military regime planned to work towards returning the nation of 67 million people to democracy in around 15 months.

The general said a first phase of around three months would focus on "reconciliation" in the ferociously divided nation.

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