TOKYO (AP) — Thailand's junta leader says the military will return to the barracks once a civilian government is chosen, but he stopped short of ruling out another coup "if something cannot be solved" by the new government.
"The military has its proper role as a government agency, so don't worry," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the junta leader, told the Nikkei newspaper in an interview published Tuesday. An election for a new government will be held as early as the end of this year, he said.
When asked about the possibility of another coup, Prayuth didn't answer directly, but said that "Thailand is different from other countries. If something cannot be solved, the military will solve it."
Prayuth, who is on a visit to Japan, led a coup that toppled the government last May and assumed the premiership later in 2014.
The interview was also published online in English by the Nikkei Asian Review, an affiliate of Nikkei, Japan's leading economic newspaper.