Showing 1-10 of 402 results


    Thailand's semi-democracy returns

    Oped, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 01/12/2023

    » The appointment of Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha as privy councillor has neatly bookended Thai politics over the past decade. It coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the street demonstrations that were led by the People's Democratic Reform Committee, paving the way for Gen Prayut to stage a military coup in May 2014. While the interim was a period of hard and soft military-authoritarian rule in 2014-19 and 2019-23, the new moving balance in Thai politics is a semi-democracy of sorts under the Pheu Thai Party-led coalition government.


    Japan's dilemmas need bold answers

    Oped, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 03/11/2023

    » Among the big countries vying for power and influence in the fluid and contentious geostrategic arena, Japan faces the most daunting challenges. Most of the recognised major powers in Asia, from China and India to Indonesia and South Korea, are rising and aspiring for bigger roles and grander objectives, while Japan's place in the global pecking order has been in decline. The last time Japan had to confront such an existential threat to its place in the world may have been in the 1860s when the Western powers shook up and threatened to take over the isolated and inward-looking martial society.


    A Thai view on the Hamas-Israel war

    Oped, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 20/10/2023

    » The Palestinians' longstanding and legitimate grievances have been irrevocably subverted by Hamas' brazen attack against Israel on Oct 7. Unlike previous rounds of conflicts and clashes between Israel and the Palestinians on the one hand and neighbouring Arab states on the other, Thailand has become a direct casualty like never before, as 30 Thai workers have been killed to date, with at least 16 injured and 17 taken hostage. As a militant political movement motivated by Islamic fundamentalism using methods of terrorism to achieve its objectives, Hamas has made a bad name for the Palestinian cause, eliciting condemnation and opposition all the way over here in Thailand.


    Tolerating populism for democracy

    Oped, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 13/10/2023

    » The so-called “super deal” in August that resulted in the return of Thaksin Shinawatra and the formation of the Pheu Thai Party-led coalition government under Srettha Thavisin evidently has its limitations. It appears to be rejected by sections of the conservative old guard who still wants to resort to extra-parliamentary ways and means to undermine Thailand’s delicate parliamentary democracy. Reminiscent of past protests against Mr Thaksin’s brand of populism, a new round of extra-parliamentary political movement has begun in earnest with the petition launched by 99 prominent economists, including former central bank governors, against the Srettha government’s 10,000-baht digital wallet policy.


    Srettha confronts myriad of challenges

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 22/09/2023

    » As the coalition government of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin gets going, it faces multiple daunting challenges, from public expectations and policy deliverables to the maintenance of political stability.


    What's next for post-Thaksin Thailand?

    Oped, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 08/09/2023

    » The formation of a new coalition government under Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has closed a two-decade chapter in Thai politics.


    Asean role stuck on Myanmar coup

    Oped, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 25/08/2023

    » President Joe Biden's decision to skip Asean-related summits in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Sept 5-7 in favour of the G-20 leaders' meeting in India just two days later has been greeted with howls of disappointment and criticism around Southeast Asian capitals and elsewhere that are concerned about America's role in the region.


    The continuing crisis of Thai democracy

    Oped, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 11/08/2023

    » The prolonged volatility and instability in Thai politics attest to a continuing crisis of democracy since the military coup in September 2006. It is characterised by the nature, direction and duration of government after an election. Unless the poll-topping political party is backed by the conservative military-authoritarian regime, it is either not allowed to take power or gets overthrown while in office before completing its term. This crisis of Thai democracy has now persisted since the May 14 poll, as the formation of the next government remains stuck in a stalemate.


    Thai charter court deserves scrutiny

    Oped, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 04/08/2023

    » Amid the volatility and confusion during the interim since the May 14 election, Thailand's Constitutional Court has further thickened the plot by accepting a petition to rule on whether a parliamentary vote using the meeting rules to deny the renomination of Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat's premiership was unconstitutional.


    Thai political legitimacy in question

    Oped, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 28/07/2023

    » The ongoing distortion of election results and systematic subversion of the popular will in Thai politics raise questions of political legitimacy at home and abroad. By all accounts, the combined victory of the opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) and Pheu Thai appears unlikely to lead to their formation of a government. While many voters feel shortchanged by the power plays behind the scenes, what is happening to the MFP should behove the international community to draw a red line across which the eventual government outcome cannot be deemed democratically legitimate and credible in reflection of voter preferences.

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