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Volume 450: debated on Thursday 19 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of when elections may be held to elect a new Government under the new Thai Administration. (93919)

On 1 October the King appointed an interim Prime Minister, retired General Surayud Chulanont, and approved an interim constitution, setting out a timetable for the drafting of a substantive, new constitution. The Council for Democratic Reform, which carried out the coup, and the interim Government which has since been appointed, have both pledged to hold new elections on the basis of the new constitution within one year.

The coup marks a setback for democracy in Thailand. Along with our EU and other international partners, we will urge the Thai authorities to comply with their human rights obligations, hold elections and restore accountable democracy, as soon as possible, to allow the people of Thailand as a whole to choose their Government.