Martial rule to prevent bloodsheds: Thai army chief

Updated: 2014-05-21 09:26


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Martial rule to prevent bloodsheds: Thai army chief

Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban (R) gives a traditional greeting to a soldier before leaving the Government House in Bangkok May 20, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

Thailand's caretaker prime minister, Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan, said on Tuesday he had asked the Election Commission to organise an election on Aug. 3.

Niwatthamrong also said he would talk to the army chief "as soon as possible" to end the country's political crisis hours after the army declared martial law.

"The government has sent a letter to the Election Commission suggesting that it organise an election on August 3 which we think is suitable. If the commission agrees then next week we can issue a decree," Niwatthamrong told reporters.

Martial rule to prevent bloodsheds: Thai army chief
Thailand's army declares martial law

The leader of protesters who have been trying to oust Thailand's government for six months said they would continue their fight despite the imposition of martial law on Tuesday and the army chief's call for talks between rival groups.

"Martial law does not affect our civil uprising ... We still retain our right to demonstrate against this tyrannical government," Suthep Thaugsuban said in a speech to supporters.

In the early hours of Tuesday, the army declared martial law, but said it was not a coup and that the government remained in office. The army chief later said martial law would remain in place until peace and order had been restored.