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  • OPINION

    Governor status quo leaves city as microcosm of nation

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 06/03/2013

    » The resulting and relative status quo that emerged from Bangkok's gubernatorial polls on Sunday bears cold implications for the national political landscape and the future of City Hall politics.

  • OPINION

    Policy momentum flounders after amnesty debacle

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 15/11/2013

    » Even before its peddlers in parliament made a panicky retreat, the expansive amnesty bill to absolve all those involved in Thailand's political conflict going back to 2004 already yielded longer-term ramifications.

  • OPINION

    Finding ways back from another brink

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 27/11/2013

    » Thailand's unfurling political crisis that began with a protest against a blanket amnesty to absolve former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has reached a breaking point.

  • OPINION

    Electoral democracy can still succeed

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 06/02/2014

    » That the election last Sunday was inconclusive and incomplete was a foregone conclusion. However, its controversial results revealed much more than many anticipated. Despite the uncertainty of the poll results, only 89.2% of which are complete, electoral democracy still works in Thailand. Eventually, it must be allowed to work within the rules of Thailand's democratic system for outcomes to be valid and sustainable.

  • OPINION

    Seeing politics via the Chuvit phenomenon

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 09/10/2015

    » As Thailand's popular rule is in deep freeze under an undisguised military dictatorship, few dare to speak out for fear of intimidation and temporary detention. One exception for all Thailand watchers to follow is Chuvit Kamolvisit. What he has been saying speaks volumes about the current state of Thai politics.

  • OPINION

    The return of constitutional blackmail

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 05/02/2016

    » While the second draft constitution is thoroughly dissected and digested in the weeks ahead, for all of its anti-corruption strengths and anti-democratic shortcomings, its broad contours are clear. The current draft that is being set up for a referendum this July builds on its precursor from 2007 in restricting and rolling back the democratic direction of the 1997 constitution, harking back to earlier versions from 1978 and 1991. There is constitutional continuity in Thailand's charter drafting -- but it is going back in time in a democratic regression.

  • OPINION

    Malaysia's poll ramifications for Thailand

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 11/05/2018

    » It was a vicarious happenstance. When the annual flagship event of Asean's consortium of think-tanks known as the Asia-Pacific Roundtable was scheduled in Kuala Lumpur for May 7-9, not a weekend but the first half of a working week, no one thought it would run into Malaysia's 14th General Election (GE14). But it did, as Prime Minister Najib Razak chose a Wednesday instead of a typical weekend, to stage Malaysia's momentous polls. But the tricky timing failed to help his cause. He lost in a big way that bears far-reaching ramifications for the fate of democracy and authoritarianism in the region and beyond, not least here in Thailand.

  • OPINION

    Thailand's year of hunting normality

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 11/01/2019

    » Three related events that will shape Thailand's path this year and beyond are evidently the coronation of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, the much-anticipated election, and the once-a-decade rotational chairmanship of Asean.

  • OPINION

    TRC dissolution turns up political heat

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 08/03/2019

    » It is deja vu all over again in Thai politics. Another political party aligned to Thaksin Shinawatra, an ousted, self-exiled and convicted former prime minister, found its way to the Constitutional Court where it was dissolved in short order for "opposing the democratic system with the King as head of state".

  • OPINION

    Army-backed regime pulls poll disguises

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 15/03/2019

    » At issue in the looming election is less about Thailand's return to democratic rule and more about the country's slide into long-term military-authoritarianism with democratic disguises. The most recent military seizure of power on May 22, 2014, appears increasingly like a coup to remake all coups. However the votes are decided, the army-backed junta under the National Council for Peace and Order, spearheaded by Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, intends to stay for the long haul.

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