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  • OPINION

    The evolving Thai political fault lines

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 05/07/2019

    » Over the past five years under military government, it is clear that Thailand's political polarisation has not been bridged. It has, in fact, expanded into new fault lines. Apart from the longstanding yellows versus reds revolving around supporters and critics of the established political order premised on military, monarchy and bureaucracy, we now have a clear demarcation between pro- and anti-junta and authoritarianism versus democratisation camps. Newer fault lines are generational and ideological in orientation. While some of these divisions are global in nature, bringing them in line towards a new consensus in Thailand will necessitate a kind of leadership and compromise without which the country will be unsettled for the long term.

  • OPINION

    Rising star Piyabutr will enrage FFP foes

    News, Wasant Techawongtham, Published on 29/06/2019

    » The first two-day meeting of the House of Representatives this week has probably set the tone for the remainder of the parliamentary session. Opposition debates look set to be hard-hitting, and rebuttals from the government aisle are expected to be equally fierce.

  • OPINION

    Same old politics, stuck on repeat

    News, Nauvarat Suksamran, Published on 20/06/2019

    » When thinking about vicious cycles in Thai politics, most -- if not all -- people think about military coups and political interventions by the men in green which have occurred twice since 2006. Fledgling attempts at reviving democracy are set back when the army stages another coup.

  • OPINION

    Brave MPs a ray of hope

    News, Published on 08/06/2019

    » With political parties fighting tooth and nail for key cabinet portfolios and doing whatever it takes to have a chance to join a coalition government, two of them have let their principles and honesty take a back seat to the power grabbing.

  • OPINION

    What went wrong for the Democrats?

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 07/06/2019

    » It is hard to believe today that Thailand's Democrat Party was widely worth rooting for not so long ago. In past eras of military-authoritarianism, Democrat MPs used to be seen as a force for good, pitted against ruling generals in support of popular rule. Somehow during the current military regime that dates back to the September 2006 coup, Thailand's oldest party has tilted away from democracy towards authoritarianism. But just as the party is demoralised and in disarray, it offers a silver lining in new and fresh faces that could offer a way forward if party elders are willing to step aside.

  • OPINION

    5 years backwards under military rule

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 24/05/2019

    » Now that five years have elapsed since Thailand's last military coup, it is an opportune juncture to take stock of where the country is heading. When it seized power in May 2014, the military junta, known as the National Council for Peace and Order, initially had legitimacy from royal ascent and broad approval from its restoration of stability and order after more than half a year of street protests in Bangkok by the People's Democratic Reform Committee that was intent on overthrowing the Pheu Thai government.

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