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  • OPINION

    The rich history of 'siphoning' in our politics

    News, Suranand Vejjajiva, Published on 02/05/2018

    » Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha is accused of "siphoning" ex-members of parliament from various political parties into a party of his own that is currently setting up, rumoured to be the Palang Pracharat Party.

  • OPINION

    Levelling out Thailand's political seesaw

    News, Suranand Vejjajiva, Published on 25/04/2018

    » Finally, the State Financial and Fiscal Discipline Act of 2018 has taken effect, despite criticism about the controversial clause that virtually bans populist policies. It is seen as an attempt by the ruling regime under the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to limit the role of elected representatives in turning campaign promises into government policies. With that, a democratic principle turns upside down.

  • OPINION

    Laying siege to the City of Angels

    News, Suranand Vejjajiva, Published on 18/04/2018

    » The appointment of Sakoltee Phattiyakul as deputy governor of Bangkok by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha through the use of Section 44 has been seen as a move by the regime to take control of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and pave a path towards securing votes in the capital for the election in the near future.

  • OPINION

    Parties jostle to extend the life of NCPO

    News, Suranand Vejjajiva, Published on 11/04/2018

    » Three groups of political players are on the move in setting up parties to extend the life of the National Council for Peace and Order (NPCO) and support Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to continue as prime minister after the election. All three are working separately, but in essence are moving towards building leverage in the political numbers game.

  • OPINION

    Major parties in battle to repel NCPO attack

    News, Suranand Vejjajiva, Published on 04/04/2018

    » At the end of March, 97 political groups applied to be registered as political parties. Come April, public attention has turned to existing political parties whose party members are required to reconfirm their membership status. These are some of the steps the military regime under the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has taken to manipulate our politics ahead of the election next year.

  • OPINION

    'Talk show' debate sets tone for election

    News, Suranand Vejjajiva, Published on 28/03/2018

    » The first open debate between representatives of political parties since the 2014 coup took place last week at a forum in Bangkok. It pitted veteran politicians against young bloods entering politics for the first time. Even though the event was more like a talk show and somewhat superficial, it did set the tone for the kind of politics we could expect leading to a general election next year.

  • OPINION

    Stop procrastinating, call the election now!

    News, Suranand Vejjajiva, Published on 21/03/2018

    » The latest proposal by Somchai Sawaengkarn, a member of the coup-installed National Legislative Assembly (NLA), asking for a consensus from political parties for a further delay of the general election of another three months has been seen as a regime tactic to extend its grip on power. Such a proposal deserves to be condemned.

  • OPINION

    The political economy of a regime

    News, Suranand Vejjajiva, Published on 14/03/2018

    » The bottom-line performance of any government is measured by its success in managing the economy and putting money into its citizens' wallets. In Thailand, as long as the current ruling regime can deliver on the economic front, it can remain authoritarian and generally safe from mass uprisings against it.

  • OPINION

    New political parties must wipe slate clean

    News, Suranand Vejjajiva, Published on 07/03/2018

    » As new political parties rush to reserve names and kick off the registration process, there emerges an impression that our politics is being returned to a democratic mode. The existing political parties are supposed to start confirming the memberships of their members next month. However, there still is no clear signal from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) over when it will allow political parties -- new or old -- to conduct activities. The road ahead remains full of pitfalls and loopholes. It will be a long time before the dust settles, if ever.

  • OPINION

    Military treats democracy like a video game

    News, Suranand Vejjajiva, Published on 13/06/2017

    » Our leaders handle politics as if it were a video game. There is a reset button. Everything can be reset to zero -- and we start all over again.

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