The Commander-in-Chief of the Thai Army, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, declared a coup in Thailand on May 22 afternoon. Several hours later the deputy spokesman of the Thai Amry, Winthai Suvaree appeared on TV to announce a curfew from 11pm to 5 am.

The Army also ordered all TVs and radio across the country to suspend their usual programming and show only army-approved broadcasts.

In a televised announcement earlier in the afternoon, General Prayuth said the army and police had formed a National Peace Keeping Committee to seize control of the country, which has been suffering from political instability for many months.

According to the General, the power seizure was necessary to stabilise the country.

The coup announcement was released after Thailand’s opposition parties participating in two negotiations on May 21 and 22 failed to reach any agreement.

Before taking the decision, General Prayuth had declared martial law in the hope of forcing parties to sit down for talks to end protests that have lasted more than six months and left many dead or injured.

With those talks failing to reach agreement, the Army stepped in, and analysts now warn that it is too early to predict the impact on Thai politics.-VNA