Thai military declares martial law

|By:, SA News Editor

Thailand's military chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha has imposed martial law as he looks to restore order following six months of sometimes violent and even deadly protests, although Chan-ocha denied that the military had carried out a coup.

Chan-ocha's action comes amid a period of limbo for Thailand after a court dismissed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and nine ministers earlier this month for abuse of power.

The turmoil in Thailand has brought the economy to the edge of recession, with GDP dropping 2.1% in Q1. Fitch's Andrew Colquhoun indicated that martial law might even be good for the economy if it averts more serious disorder and leads to the return of a fully functioning government that can pass a budget for next year.

Thailand's SET stock index fell 0.9%, while the USD-THB is +0.1% to 32.525 Thai baht.