WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement following reports of a military coup in Thailand:

“I am deeply concerned by the Royal Thai Army’s drastic step of seizing power, and urge the return to democratic rule. As Americans know from our own history, democracy can be messy. Nevertheless, Thailand’s leaders have a responsibility to prevent further violence by the supporters of all parties, to engage peacefully to work through political differences, and to ensure Thailand’s democratic institutions remain viable. Looking ahead, the only way to move Thailand forward will be credible elections—not the edicts of the Thai military.”