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Thai Junta Picks Panel to Write New Constitution

Thailand's legislature, known as the National Reform Council, stands after they voted 135 against 105 in favor with seven abstentions on the new draft constitution, in Bangkok, Sept. 6, 2015.

Thailand's military government has appointed a committee to write a new constitution after an earlier version of the draft was rejected in a move that delayed elections until at least 2017.

Deputy Prime Minister Visanu Krua-ngam says the new 21-member committee will begin work immediately and has six months to complete the draft charter.

The committee will be led by legal expert Meechai Ruchupan, who also led the junta-appointed panel that drafted a previous version of the constitution in 2007 after the overthrow of former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thaksin was deposed in a 2006 coup after being accused of corruption. His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, was removed from office in 2014, shortly before the present military junta seized power.