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NZ condemns Thailand coup

20 September 2006

NZ condemns Thailand coup, calls for immediate restoration of democracy

Prime Minister Helen Clark today condemned the military coup in Thailand and is calling for an immediate restoration of democracy.

She said she was shocked at news of attempts overnight by the Thai Army to overthrow the government.

"While details of what is happening are still sketchy, I am deeply disturbed by the reporting out of Thailand.

"New Zealand condemns any process which seeks to overturn a government by unconstitutional and undemocratic means.

“Thailand has been going through a difficult time politically, with the current government acting in a caretaker capacity since disputed elections in April. A constitutional process has been under way to resolve that, which includes the holding of new elections.

"New Zealand urges all political and military players to resolve their differences peacefully, and to act in accordance with Thailand's constitution and democratic principles.”

Helen Clark said that while the situation on the streets in Bangkok is currently calm and there are no immediate concerns for the safety of New Zealanders in Thailand, the government is advising New Zealanders there to exercise caution.

“New Zealanders should consider delaying planned travel to Thailand, if they can, until the situation is clear,” Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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