Justin Alick

After Thailand’s military overthrew the government and seized power in a coup on May 22, its new ultraconservative rulers wasted no time in rolling out the most radical and repressive right-wing reforms the country has seen since the height of the Cold War.

Army chief General Prayuth Chan-Ocha is now prime minister. The administration of the nation is being conducted out of an army base, and its people ruled by decree.

Representatives from the two sides of Thailand’s political conflict sat around a table on the afternoon of May 22 for the second day of negotiations hosted by the Royal Thai Army. The meeting took place under the military's self-declared martial law.

It was clear from the outset that no agreement between the pro- and anti-democracy forces would be reached. And so at about 3pm, the army chief General Prayuth Chan-Ocha, laid his cards on the table by bluntly presenting government representatives with one option ― resign.

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