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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 3, 2006

Statement on Thai Coup Developments

We have noted the appointment of an interim Prime Minister, Surayud Chulanont, in Thailand, and the promulgation of an interim constitution. We remain concerned by restrictions on civil liberties, provisions in the draft constitution that appear to give the military an ongoing and influential role in decision-making, and the lengthy timetable for democratic elections.

Following the implementation of Section 508 sanctions last week, we are assessing additional next steps to be taken. We call for clear and unambiguous protection for civil liberties by the interim authorities and the military, and a quick return to democratic elections. Thailand's image in the eyes of the world and U.S.-Thai relations will suffer until Thailand returns to its place as a democratic leader in Asia.

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