Thailand's coup government appoints committee to draft new constitution

Thailand's military-installed government has appointed a committee to draft the country's new constitution amid speculation that it will seek to bar former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies from politics.

The 36-member panel consists of law experts, academics, former senators and others with close ties to the military and traditional conservative establishment. The appointment on Tuesday came more than five months after the military, led by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, toppled an elected government headed by Thaksin's allies.

Thailand has suffered from political instability since 2006, when an earlier military coup ousted then-Prime Minister Thaksin for alleged corruption, abuse of power and disrespect for the king. Supporters and opponents of Thaksin have struggled for power since then at the ballot box and in the streets, sometimes violently.