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Thailand's new constitution favors the monarchy and military

Long-awaited charter gives the junta a guaranteed role in coming years

BANGKOK Thailand's 20th constitution since the overthrow of absolute monarchy in 1932 received the royal assent at the propitious time of 3:11 pm on Thursday, April 6, and a general election will follow within 19 months, according to the prime minister.

Thailand's most elaborate constitution-signing ceremony in almost 50 years was staged in the Italianate early 20th-century Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, and attended by privy councillors, diplomats, the military-appointed cabinet and members of the unelected National Legislative Assembly.

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