PARIS - French President Francois Hollande Thursday condemned the army coup in Thailand and called for an immediate return to the rule of law.
His reaction came after Thai army chief General Prayut Chan-ocha made the coup announcement in a televised address to the nation, after declaring martial law earlier this week.
"The president condemns the seizure of power by the army in Thailand," a statement by Hollande's office said.
Hollande called for "an immediate return to the constitutional order and for a vote to be organised" as well as the need "for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Thai people to be respected."
The coup came after months of political turmoil. The army banned gatherings of more than five people, summoned the ousted cabinet to report to the army and suspended the constitution -- except for the section related to the monarchy.