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  • News & article

    Thailand's tale told via 'The Nation'

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 28/06/2019

    » Nearly five decades ago, The Nation newspaper started out as a pro-democracy, anti-military news organisation. It was fiercely independent and invariably hard-hitting vis-à-vis the powers-that-be. An English-language newspaper owned by Thais from the outset, it prided itself for having neither fear nor favour. Its lamentable expiry as a print newspaper today -- an online version will continue -- provides multiple parallels for Thailand's contemporary political history, ongoing polarisation and the changing nature of the business of journalism worldwide.

  • News & article

    America at war within can't lead world

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 18/10/2019

    » The extraordinary country that once touted itself and was seen by many as the "leader of the free world" is no longer so great. America, the fabled "city upon a hill" and beacon of freedom and democracy for the world, is unwell from within, wracked by nasty divisions and visceral polarisation.

  • News & article

    Seeing Asean straight as Thailand chairs

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 21/06/2019

    » When Asean organises big meetings, the tendency for the host is to talk up a brouhaha. So it goes with the 34th Asean summit under Thailand's rotating chairmanship this year. By year's end, several hundred Asean-related meetings will have taken place, highlighted by the final annual summitry in October-November that will include top leaders from China, India, Japan, Russia, the United States, among others.

  • News & article

    Post-poll transitions and directions

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 14/06/2019

    » Almost three months after the March 24 poll, Thailand has barely managed to come up with a new government leader, who remains Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, but a cabinet has still yet to be announced owing to haggling and bargaining over portfolios.

  • News & article

    Poll results point to clear way forward

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 26/04/2019

    » Despite the controversy and confusion over Thailand's March 24 election outcome, its immediate and far-reaching implications are indisputable.

  • News & article

    The anatomy of a very tricky election

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 29/03/2019

    » Thailand's first election in nearly eight years was supposed to bring some closure to a self-appointed military government and clarity to the country's democratic future. Instead, it has generated much controversy and probable continuity for the incumbent military regime with murky political directions ahead. Central to the questions and outcomes surrounding the poll on Sunday is the Election Commission (EC). Its actions and interpretations of events will have much to say about what happens next.

  • News & article

    Policy ideas absent from poll campaign

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 01/03/2019

    » As the election campaign season moves into full swing after a nearly eight-year hiatus, many will see it as the same old tired routine of politicians smearing each other, slinging mud and squabbling all the way to the poll and beyond.

  • News & article

    Debunking two myths of the 2014 coup

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 19/10/2018

    » As momentum towards the next general election gathers pace, the two main myths that underpinned Thailand's most recent military coup in May 2014 deserve debunking. Both are associated with the military's role in politics. Seeing through these two perpetuated myths leaves us with the reality that all players in Thai politics are in pursuit of power and vested interests. All pretence to the contrary is sheer falsehood, hypocrisy and political manipulation.

  • News & article

    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.

  • News & article

    Can technology transform patronage politics?

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 30/03/2018

    » By the time it takes place after evident foot-dragging by relevant authorities, the next election in Thailand will be unlike its precursors. There will be new parties with new policy ideas, new vote-gathering technologies and first-time voters who came of age during Thailand's political tension and polarisation more or less over the past two decades. At issue during the next poll is whether and to what extent Thailand's entrenched and endemic patronage-driven and vote-buying political system has really changed. The evidence is mixed but it is plausible that a new kind of politics will emerge not directly in the next poll but in the 2020s.

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