Thai coup leader claims endorsement from King

Thai Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha looks on during a news conference at Army Headquarters in Bangkok on Monday. Credit: Reuters

Coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha has said that Thailand's king had formally endorsed his position as head of the military council that will run the country.

He also said in a statement he read on television that he would have no choice but to use force if political protests flared up again. He said he aimed for an election as soon as possible but gave no timeframe for a vote.

The army imposed martial law on May 20 and then seized power on May 22 after nearly seven months of political turmoil.

Advertisement

Chuck Hagel urges Thailand to 'return to democracy'

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has called on Thailand to "return to democracy" during an Asia-Pacific security forum after the military took over control of the government in a coup.