THAILAND

Thai legislature meets for first time after appointment by military junta after coup

Legislative body dominated by active and retired military officers convenes in Bangkok, as Thai junta makes moves towards a return to democratic rule

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 August, 2014, 4:53pm
UPDATED : Friday, 08 August, 2014, 7:19pm

Thailand’s military-dominated legislature has held its first meeting, taking another step in the country’s slow return to electoral democracy after more than two months under the junta’s rule.

The 197-member National Legislative Assembly will nominate the interim prime minister, who will then choose Cabinet members. It held its first meeting on Friday at the parliament in Bangkok after the military overthrew an elected government and parliament in a May 22 coup.

More than half of the new lawmakers hold military ranks.

In their inaugural meeting, they voted unanimously to elect former Harvard-educated Supreme Court Judge Pornpetch Wichitcholchai as the assembly president.

The dominance of active and retired military officers in the legislative body will reinforce the army’s hold on power in the run-up to polls next year.