BANGKOK, Thailand – Thailand's military regime said Thursday that it was holding four top members of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's administration. The move came as the military banned meetings of political parties and barred the establishment of new parties.
That announcement, made on all Thai television stations, said the action was taken to maintain peace and order.
Newin Chidchob, the minister attached to the prime minister's office, and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Yongyut Tiyapairat, turned themselves in to the military authorities Thursday. Deputy Prime Minister Chitchai Wannasathit, and Thaksin's top aide, Prommin Lertsuridej — the Cabinet's secretary general — were detained earlier.
The four men were close and trusted associates of Thaksin, who was overthrown Tuesday night.
Lt. Gen. Palanggoon Klaharn, a spokesman for the ruling military council, said the men were under the "care" of the military.
"During the transition period, every country does this in order for the situation to return to normalcy quickly," said Palangkoon.
Also Thursday, coup leaders said they were assuming the duties and powers of parliament, which had been dissolved.
The actions are the latest moves by the junta to maintain control, even though no open opposition has emerged to its Tuesday night takeover. Other moves include limitations on public meetings and restrictions on the media.