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Thai UN Ambassador Assures Stronger, Vibrant Democracy for Thailand

Thailand's ambassador to the United Nations has assured the international community that her country will emerge from its latest military-led coup as a stronger, more vibrant democracy.

Speaking Wednesday to the U.N. General Assembly in New York, the Ambassador H.E. Khunying Laxanachantorn Laohaphan promised that Thailand will see a swift return to democracy.

She said an interim constitution will be issued in the coming days, providing full guarantees for civil liberties and rights under the National Human Rights Commission. She also said she expects general elections within a year, if not sooner.

The ambassador promised that a new interim civilian government will be in place within days, and that one of its first tasks will be to do away with martial law.

Following last week's coup, Thailand's military leaders declared martial law, suspended the 1997 constitution, banned political party meetings and restricted the news media.

The generals say they plan to hold elections by October of next year. They also say they are narrowing the list of candidates from which they will choose a civilian interim prime minister.