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Prayuth's return as prime minister takes Thailand back to 1980s

Military still holds sway in a democracy that has yet to mature

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, seen casting his vote in the March general election, now leads what could be called a "pseudo-civilian" government.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thailand's general election was billed as a step toward democracy after five years of military rule, but the result -- former junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha's return as prime minister -- is in essence a step back to the "half-democratic" era of the 1980s.

In the years after the so-called Siamese revolution of 1932, the country's political system took the shape of a parliamentary democracy, but the military repeatedly used force to assert its will over the legislature and opposing political parties.

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