Junta Appoints More Military Men To NLA

A member of the NLA reporting for duty, 29 Sept 2014.

BANGKOK — Thailand’s military junta has appointed 28 new members to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), more than half of whom are military officers.

The new batch of NLA members, like the current ones, were handpicked by the junta's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). His Majesty the King reportedly endorsed the list yesterday. 

The NLA, which is part of the junta’s interim government, was formed in July and is expected to govern the country for at least a year.

Of the 28 new NLA lawmakers, 17 are military officers and the rest are former politicians and business executives. More than half of the original 193 members are also active or retired military or police officers.

A number of media agencies and anti-junta critics have branded the military-stacked NLA as a rubberstamp parliament for the NPCO. Last month, the lawmakers unanimously voted NCPO chairman Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha into the premiership; he was the only candidate running. 

Under the 2014 temporary charter, Thailand’s interim government consists of the NCPO, NLA, Gen. Prayuth's Cabinet, and the yet-to-be-formed National Reform Council (NRC) and Constitutional Drafting Committee. The junta has promised a national election by late 2015 on the condition that "reforms" and "reconciliation" have been achieved.

The junta is expected to announce the list of the NRC in the coming weeks. 

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