Asian political body 'gravely concerned' about Thai coup
SEOUL, May 23 (Yonhap) -- An international body representing political parties of Asia expressed grave concern Friday after Thailand's military seized power in a coup earlier this week, saying democracy should be restored based on the country's multiple political party system.
Thai army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha announced the coup d'etat Thursday, overthrowing a democratically elected government that has been accused of corruption. The move came two days after the military declared martial law, claiming it would bring back peace and order to the nation.
"We are gravely concerned about the military coup d'etat in Thailand and closely monitoring the situation there," Chung Eui-yong, secretary general of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), said in a statement. "We strongly urge the Thai military authorities to take measures for swift restoration of democracy in the country based on the multiple political party system."
"We also request them to guarantee participation of representatives of Thai political parties in ICAPP activities while the government is under control of the military," the statement said.
It especially expressed hope that the Pheu Thai Party would be able to participate in a meeting of the ICAPP Standing Committee later this month, saying the party is "one of the most active members" of the committee.
Representatives of 23 leading political parties from 19 countries in Asia are scheduled to participate in the meeting in Vladivostok, Russia, on May 30-June 1.