Thailand in Crisis: Unanswered Questions

Thailand's current political crisis has lasted almost two decades. Three constitutions, two military coups, seven prime ministers, extreme political polarization, numerous color-coded protests and endless turmoil: it is the story of a crisis that has engulfed Thailand in both chaos and tragedy, involved all from the elite to the masses, and still shows no clear [...]

Thailand in Crisis: The 2014 Coup

This is the ninth post in the Thailand in Crisis series. The previous post, Amnesty and Anarchy, traced Yingluck Shinawatra's rule and Thailand's descent into anarchy after attempts to past the amnesty bill. By May 2014, Thailand was essentially anarchic. Yingluck Shinawatra had been removed from office by the courts and was replaced by a relatively unknown cabinet minister, Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan. The PDRC protestors remained on the streets, but with no clear road ahead. It was political stalemate. Eyes slowly turned towards that traditional kingmaker of [...]

Thailand in Crisis: Amnesty and Anarchy

This is the seventh post in the Thailand in Crisis series. The previous post, Battlefield in Bangkok, described Abhisit Vejjajiva's chaotic premiership and the bloody red shirt protests. When the results rolled in after the polls closed on July 3rd, 2011, one could be forgiven for thinking they had watched this movie before. The ruling Democrat Party, which had dissolved parliament a month previously, was once again trounced. [...]

Thailand in Crisis: Battlefield in Bangkok

This is the seventh post in the Thailand in Crisis series. The previous post, Nominee Governments, followed the tumultuous politics under Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat.  "I know that for the past 2-3 years the pictures and images that you have seen of Thailand has not been positive...I know [people] recall Thailand as a land of smiles, land of opportunity and land of the free. It [...]

Thailand in Crisis: Nominee Governments

This is the sixth post in the Thailand in Crisis series. The previous post, The 2006 Coup, described the events leading to, and the aftermath of, the 2006 military coup that removed Thaksin Shinawatra from power. In 2007, The Economist described the generals who staged the 2006 military coup as resembling "Arnold Schwarzenegger battling the [...]

Thailand in Crisis: The 2006 Coup

This is the fifth post in the Thailand in Crisis series. The previous post, Thaksinocracy, analyzed Thaksin Shinawatra's efforts at power consolidation.  Sonthi Boonyaratglin, the commander in chief of the Thai military, claimed that once while dining with Thaksin Shinawtra, the prime minister had asked him whether or not he would stage a coup. Sonthi had [...]

What’s Next for the Democrat Party?

My new article in the Bangkok Post on the future of Thailand's Democratic Party:  Former Thailand prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva recently won re-election as Democrat Party leader on Saturday, seeing off two challengers. While the election result concluded the question of who would lead the Democrats into the next general election tentatively scheduled for February [...]

Autocracy Hits a Roadblock

"The end of the republic has never looked better", Barack Obama joked at his last White House Correspondent's Dinner. That was back in 2016, the year that saw Donald Trump win the presidency despite what seemed like insurmountable odds. Early 2017 saw a flurry of gloomy predictions. David Frum wrote hypothetically in his piece in [...]

Thai Politicians: A Social Media Analysis

Thailand ranks in the top ten of social media use worldwide, ranking eighth in the world in terms of Facebook usage. This isn't a surprise; just consider the number of Thai netizens who are permanently glued to their smartphones on the skytrain and subway. It follows logically, then, that social media would be fertile ground [...]

%d bloggers like this: