General Prayuth Chan-Ocha broke the news on national television.
“In order for the country to return to normal quickly the National Peace Keeping Committee comprised of the army, the Thai armed forces, the Royal Air Force and the police need to seize power as of May 22 at 4.30 pm,” he said.
The military has imposed an overnight curfew and broadcast media have suspended all normal programming.
The coup follows months of political turmoil in the country.
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