PHUKET: Thailand should have a new effective government in place within three months, coup commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha told a delegation of Chinese businesspeople in Bangkok today.
General Prayuth asked the delegation today to report back to the government of China that Thailand was heading down the right path, rethinking trade options to exclude the portion that has always been included for corruption.
He said the main aim was to obliterate corruption from trade and all dealings within Thailand. It's the first time the general, who has previously met with Bangkok's ambassadors, has met with a business group from overseas.
He has set a three-phase program for the return of democracy to Thailand but it's the first time he has specified a timetable for putting a Prime Minister and Cabinet in place.
Since the May 22 coup, Thailand has faced criticism from the US, Australia and some European governments over what's said to be a retreat from democracy.
But the general reiterated today that the coup was necessary to give Thailand a workable, corruption-free form of democracy.
''We did not undertake the coup to destroy democracy but to repair and reform a flawed system to make democracy in Thailand stronger,'' he said.
The Army's actions, portrayed as repressive by some international media outlets, have mostly been aimed at issuing warnings to potential troublemakers across politics, business and academia.
''The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) will not seek any benefits for ourselves as we right the wrongs,'' he said. He asked for the understanding and cooperation of Chinese investors in the three-stage plan to restore democracy.
The Army takeover has enabled police and authorities on Phuket to crack down on corrupt taxi, tuk-tuk drivers and local officials this week.
Phuketwan has urged the general to make Phuket corruption-free and to use the international holiday island as a role model for the rest of Thailand.
The general speaks on national television tonight at 8.30pm, a week on from his first full assessment of the situation last Friday.