Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha announced Thursday that the armed forces were seizing power after months of deadly political turmoil.
The announcement was made after detaining leaders of rival political groups at a meeting meant to seek a solution to the political crisis.
In a televised announcement, Prayuth declared that the National Peacekeeping Committee was formed to seize power.
He claimed the power seizure was necessary to protect the life of the people.
"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," army chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha said.
He asked the public to go on their daily lives as usual.
The army is taking control of the government to restore order and push through political reform.
Thailand will take care of foreigners and continue relations with foreign countries, he said.
Prayuth and the police chief and other armed forces’ chef went on TV to announce the coup after the seven-partite meeting discussing to find solution for ongoing political deadlock at the Army Club failed.
After the talk failed at 4:10 pm, Prayuth ordered the break of the meeting and the representativeswere taken away to the First Infantry Regiment, located next to the Army Club, the reports said.
The meeting mediated by Prayuth was attended by representatives of the red-shirt movement, the government, the Pheu Thai, the Democrat, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, the Senate and the Election Commission.