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UPDATED: 13:45, October 01, 2006
Thai military authority announces interim constitution
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Thailand's military ruling body announced the interim constitution endorsed by the King Sunday morning.

A statement read on all Thai television channels at around 9:30 a.m. said that the King Bhumibol Aduyaldej of Thailand has approved the interim constitution, drafted by the military ruling body Council for Democratic Reform (CDR) and submitted for royal endorsement earlier.

The interim charter takes effect from Oct. 1 until a new permanent constitution is drafted and signed by the King, a process which would take about one year.

The CDR, which seized the power from former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's caretaker government in the Sept. 19 coup, has said that under the interim constitution, it will remain in place as a Council for National Security (CNS).

The interim charter, all its 39 articles read on TV and radio stations, gives chairman of the CNS, referring to CDR chief General Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, the right to fire the prime minister.

The charter grants amnesty for the CDR and all others under its command involved for staging the Sept. 19 coup to overthrow Thaksin Shinawatra.

It authorizes the interim prime minister to name 35 ministers to his cabinet.

Thailand now awaits an official appointment of an interim prime minister picked by the military rulers, expected to be announced around 5 p.m. Sunday at the Government House in Bangkok. Privy Councilor and retired general Surayud Chulanont have been widely reported by Thai media to be the chosen premier.

Source: Xinhua

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