Thailand military coup
Thai soldiers stand guard with their weapons at the Army Club in Bangkok.Reuters

General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the leader of the military coup that ousted Thailand's government, has declared that elections will take place in one year, if reform and peace are achieved.

"The (ruling military regime) have a timeframe of one year and three months to move towards elections," Prayuth said.

"Enough time has been wasted on conflict," he added.

Political turmoil has blighted the south-east Asian nation for six months after former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra -- sister of the deposed former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra -- dissolved the Thai parliament's lower house last year.

Following the coup, General Chan-ocha said in a televised statement that the military took control of the country's government to "restore order and push through political reform" after two days of failed talks between Thailand's main political factions.

The leaders of both the pro-government Red Shirt and People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) factions were detained inside an army club where negotiations between the two were taking place.

Chan-ocha said the army had been forced to take action after six months of violent protests between opponents and supporters of deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

"We are concerned that this violence could harm the country's security in general," he said after declaring martial law last week.

In other drastic steps, Thai radio and television networks will only be allowed to broadcast military material while public gatherings of more than five people are now banned.

"All radio and television stations, satellite and cable, must stop normal programming and broadcast army content until told otherwise," deputy army spokesman Winthai Suvaree said in a televised statement.