BANGKOK, June 13 (Xinhua) -- A non-elected interim Thai government will be set up in August or September alongside a National Legislative Assembly, confirmed top leader Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha on Friday.
According to Gen Prayuth, who led the May 22 coup to overthrow the elected, caretaker government previously headed by deposed premier Yingluck Shinawatra, a non-elected, "politically neutral" prime minister will be named to head the interim government in August or September and will likely perform for a one-year time.
During this one year, a new constitution will be written by the National Legislative Assembly and national reforms will be done by a Reform Council, both of which are yet to be set up in the next few months.
The top leader, who made the statement during a meeting with high-level officials to discuss a 2015 budget bill at the Army Club, refused to say who might be named the interim premier, however.
The army chief, who is scheduled to retire at the end of September, assured that the non-elected premier will be named alongside the interim government between August and early September.
"Thai people hate to wait. Don't ask who will become premier. Don't make criticisms about that as yet," he said.
"Who'd like to be one (interim premier)? Go ahead," said Prayuth to the stunned attendees.
That is part of a roadmap laid out by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the official name of the military junta who staged last month's coup allegedly to terminate fears of nationwide chaos and bloodsheds.
The roadmap toward the return of democratic rule will take approximately 15 months' time from now until a nationwide election is held, according to the ruling military.
The army chief said the 86.6 billion U.S. dollar budget bill for next fiscal year beginning on the first of October will already be prepared when the new government is set up during that time.
He said he had repeatedly instructed top officials of varied government agencies to arrange the budgeting process in a transparent fashion and without hidden agenda.
Meanwhile, Gen Prayuth categorically dismissed criticisms that he is currently reintroducing the populist policy earlier implemented by previous Thaksin Shinawatra and Yingluck governments and said he was merely trying to address the country's economic woes.
"We are by no means repeating the populist campaign. We're only taking temporary measures to help the people make ends meet for the time being," he said.
He said he decided to scrap the populist rice program implemented by the Yingluck government as well as a price- guaranteeing rice program carried out by a previous Abhisit Vejjajiva government which was allegedly prone to corruption.
Instead, the new government will primarily seek to reduce costs of rice production for the farmers nationwide, he said.
The NCPO is currently restructuring oil and gas prices and taxation systems to alleviate the people's cost of living and stimulate the national economy, left in the slumps in the wake of a marathon political conflict over the last several months, according to the army chief.
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