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  • News & article

    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.

  • News & article

    Royal command sets a new balance

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 11/02/2019

    » Thailand's political earthquake last Friday has caught observers at home and abroad off guard. Within half a day, Thai politics went through an unprecedented political roller coaster. It all ended with a press release from the royal palace at night, effectively reversing what had taken place in the morning.

  • News & article

    All quiet on the Thai-Cambodian front

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 18/01/2019

    » The Hun Sen government's decision last week to annul Cambodian passports issued to foreigners, reportedly including self-exiled former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, has brought Thai-Cambodian relations into focus once again. As has been reported in international and local media, Yingluck apparently used a Cambodian passport to register as the sole director of a Hong Kong company. The Cambodian authorities' continuing cooperation with Thailand's military government demonstrates a workable new pattern in the bilateral relationship that is a break from the past.

  • News & article

    The annals of Thailand's military dictators

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 12/10/2018

    » As Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha eyes longer-term power beyond the next election, his eventual legacy will be compared to other military leaders who have come and gone as heads of past Thai governments. Had he left office or stepped down to run for it earlier, Gen Prayut might be in a better place. As things stand, his tenure and subsequent exit from the political scene does not appear promising for how he will be seen in hindsight.

  • News & article

    Thailand's new military and new politics

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 05/10/2018

    » Most likely not in accordance with his preference, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is finding out that the military high command he seized power with during the May 2014 coup will be fundamentally different when he leaves office.

  • News & article

    Royal transition explains military's grip

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 13/10/2017

    » Hindsight will look back at Thailand's prolonged political interregnum after the military coup on 22 May 2014 with perplexity and astonishment. It will be remembered as a time of junta rule in a country that had overthrown military dictatorships repeatedly in 1973 and 1992. This time, the self-styled strongman from the barracks was Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, who would end up in office for longer than most elected leaders before him. There will be many questions and criticisms of Gen Prayut's tenure and rule but undergirding them will be his unrivalled role a year ago today, on 13 Oct 2016, with the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The consequent royal transition is likely to be viewed in posterity as the principal reason why the Thai people have had to put up with Gen Prayut.

  • News & article

    Thai military's cradle of political power

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 17/10/2014

    » From a promising period of de-politicisation in the late 1990s to a manipulative re-politicisation in the early 2000s, Thailand's military has come full circle.

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