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  • OPINION

    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.

  • 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

    Thailand amid Asean economic integration

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 11/08/2017

    » The first year and a half of the Asean Community has transpired not with a bang but a whimper. Thailand's role in it has been correspondingly uneventful. The first 18 months of the Asean Economic Community (AEC), one of three pillars together with the Asean Political-Security Community and Asean Socio-Cultural Community, witnessed no fundamental or qualitative differences from trade and investment patterns prior to its introduction. If the AEC is to work out as intended, it has to be reshaped and reoriented from traditional lenses to new realities based on intra-regional investments in tandem with global value chains.

  • OPINION

    Why the Thai people cry for His Majesty

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 21/10/2016

    » While the vast majority of Thais at home and abroad are in a mourning mood, yearning for a bygone past with an emerging angst for what is to come after King Bhumibol Adulyadej's spectacular seven-decade reign, this grief is not universally shared. Not all Thais feel this way. A small minority are relatively indifferent in their reaction to the end of the reign. A smaller fraction may even challenge and oppose what looks like wide and deep grief and sorrow wherever in the world the Thai sphere reaches. This minority should be allowed to hold their beliefs and sentiments without persecution and harassment but they should also pay due respect to others who want to mourn.

  • OPINION

    Global realities test Obama’s Asia pivot

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 02/05/2014

    » President Barack Obama can't be blamed for not trying. Having missed the Asean-related summit season from last October because of the US government’s "shutdown", the president allotted an entire week for a make-up trip that recently took him to South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines to shore up his strategic foreign policy reorientation towards East Asia, also known as the "Asian pivot" or "rebalance".

  • 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

    Thailand's superpower courtship

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 19/11/2012

    » Whether it comes out of Bangkok or Washington, foreign policy ultimately derives from domestic politics. Long after United States President Barack Obama leaves Bangkok on this round of shuttle visits to three mainland Southeast Asian nations as part of his East Asia Summit (EAS) tour, Thailand's foreign relations will still be stuck and able to find traction only at the margins without much forward direction from the middle until the country's domestic tension and turmoil find a lasting political settlement and a new equilibrium.

  • OPINION

    After Europe, Suu Kyi faces tough challenge

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 15/06/2012

    » Less than two weeks after her spectacular visit to Bangkok and surrounding provinces under the aegis of the World Economic Forum, Aung San Suu Kyi has embarked on a long-awaited whirlwind tour of western Europe. From Geneva to Oslo and Bergen, and from Dublin to London and Paris, she is deservedly expected to be feted like a rock star of international politics by European leaders who have been her longtime supporters through thick and thin while she spent years in the political wilderness.

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