Updated: Don't hold your breath I17022016
In a brief report, the Bangkok Post states that US President Barack Obama "has called for a return to civilian rule in Thailand." He is quoted from a press briefing at the US-ASEAN Summit: "We continue to encourage a return to civilian rule in Thailand…".
All PPT can say is don't hold your breath. Even if there is an election, it is clear that unless there is some remarkable change in Thailand, no election (or referendum) will be free or fair. No election under junta rules will result in any major change to the clique holding power or in the nature of the authoritarianism being embedded in laws and procedures.
Yes, we know, all the US wants is a civilian leader in the mold of previous post-coup administrations, but even that looks impossible while the business tycoons and royalists pimps support the military regime.
Update: Readers may be interested to note the Joint Statement from the Summit, where among other things, The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, agreed to this:
Our commitment to ensure opportunities for all of our peoples, through strengthening democracy, enhancing good governance and adherence to the rule of law, promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, encouraging the promotion of tolerance and moderation, and protecting the environment….