The army general who engineered a coup against Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is promising to resign within two weeks and hold new elections by October 2007.
Army Chief General Sondhi Boonyaratglin said Wednesday a search is underway for the person who will become the new prime minister. He also said he has the endorsement of King Bhumipol Adulyadej for the coup.
Sondhi said Wednesday it was necessary to overthrow Mr. Thaksin to resolve conflict in Thailand and bring normalcy back to the country. He said the potential candidates are -- as he put it -- "politically neutral and love democracy."
In April, Mr. Thaksin dissolved parliament and called elections after weeks of demonstrations calling for his resignation. The opposition boycotted the election, however, and the courts later deemed the poll illegal.
The coup took place in Bangkok on Tuesday while Mr. Thaksin was in New York for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.
He has since flown to London, where his daughter is a student.
Britain's Foreign Office has said the former prime minister is in the country on a private visit, and has not requested any meetings with British government officials.
International leaders have expressed concern about the coup.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said on Wednesday that the U.S. is "disappointed" and called on those behind the takeover to make good on their promise to restore democracy.
The Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer called the coup "unacceptable," and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, said her country condemns any attempt to overturn a government by unconstitutional and undemocratic means.
All three countries called for a swift return to democracy in Thailand.
Foreign Minister Taro Aso called the coup "regrettable."
Thailand has experienced 18 coups or coup attempts since it became a constitutional monarchy in 1932.
Mr. Thaksin, who came to office in 2001, is the first democratically elected prime minister of Thailand to serve a full term.