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Thailand coup: Army chief declares himself acting PM

Published on May 23, 2014 11:35 AM
Thai Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives before a meeting with high ranking officials at the Army Club, after the army declared martial law nationwide to restore order in Bangkok on May 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK - Thai army chief and coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha has declared himself the acting prime minister until the new coup regime announced on Thursday can find someone to serve in the post full time, it was reported.

According to the Bangkok Post, the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council (NPOMC) made the announcement on Thursday night, saying General Prayuth will act as prime minister for administrative purposes.

"As some laws stipulate that 'the prime minister'...authorises actions under the law, the NPOMC leader or his assigned individuals will uphold that authority for the time being," the announcement said.

In the first 16 hours of military rule, military authorities have issued two orders and 19 announcements. Each was read several times over radio and TV stations, which otherwise are blacked out, under total military control, and playing only traditional music used for military takeovers.

In other announcements, the permanent secretary of each ministry has been appointed to take the authority of ministers until further announcement or, presumably, the formal formation of a Cabinet, Bangkok Post reported.