Pic: AP.

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s ruling junta says it has no desire to “cling to power” but it gave no clear timeframe for when it will allow free elections to take place.

Lt. Gen. Chatchalerm Chalermsukh told a news conference Thursday that it was “impossible to hold an election at the moment” because there are still protests in the country.

Since the military intervention took place a week ago, there have been almost daily anti-coup protests in Bangkok.

Holding an election “will take some time, but if you ask me how long, it’s difficult to answer,” he said.

Last Thursday, Thailand’s army seized power, overthrowing an elected government that won a landslide vote three years earlier. The army says it acted to restore order after seven months of increasingly violent political turbulence.