Three Months After Coup, Thailand’s Future Uncertain

Three Months After Coup, Thailand’s Future Uncertain

BANGKOK, Thailand -- It was Constitution Day in Thailand on Dec. 10, and because it fell on a Sunday this year, banks, schools and offices stayed shut Monday for a holiday, ostensibly to reflect on the charter's importance. There's just one problem: Thailand hasn't got a constitution any more.

The much-lauded 1997 constitution, the 16th since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932, was torn up and thrown in the trash can when the army staged its coup on Sept. 19.

The generals who stepped in to rescue the country from what they claimed was an increasingly despotic, divisive and corrupt government, said the "people's constitution" -- so called because it was the first written by popular consent -- had been manipulated and abused by deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

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