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Politics

Democracy at the Crossroads

In the past decade, we have been witnessing dramatic political developments in Thailand. It started with the coming to power of Thaksin Shinawatra through elections. At a glance, it seemed that the Thai democracy began to institutionalize itself and there was a high hope among the Thai public that stability of the democratic government was possible. This can be explained by the fact that Thaksin was able to project himself that he was a new type of political leadership which matched well with globalization and the age of information technology. As a highly successful telecommunication business leader who became one of the richest men in the country in a very short period of time, he was the most suitable leader to lead the country to prosperity as he often pointed out. In addition, the success in elections of the Thai Rak Thai party convinced the Thais that the party system was becoming stable and institutionalized.

 

 

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Exploring the 2007 Constitution

The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, B.E. 2550 (A.D. 2007) received a majority vote of approval in a referendum held on Sunday, August 19, 2007. In the course of drafting, the new constitution was subject to extensive specialist and citizen participation at every stage.

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Government’s anti-corruption campaign working, watchdogs say

The government’s anti-corruption campaign is showing positive results at the federal level, a network of anti-corruption groups said last week, although the situation remains troublesome at the provincial level. Meanwhile, the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission sent a second list of allegedly corrupt officials containing 152 names to the Prime Minister.
The government’s anti-corruption campaign is showing positive results at the federal level, a network of anti-corruption groups said last week, although the situation remains troublesome at the provincial level. Meanwhile, the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission sent a second list of allegedly corrupt officials containing 152 names to the Prime Minister.
 
Pramon Sutheewong, chairman of the Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand, a network of anti-graft groups, commended moves made by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s administration to fight corruption.

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Prime Minister affirms to stick by the roadmap to restore democracy

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha threw cold water on those calling for him to extend his time in office by another two years to achieve reforms, saying he would stick by the roadmap to restore democracy next year.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha threw cold water on those calling for him to extend his time in office by another two years to achieve reforms, saying he would stick by the roadmap to restore democracy next year.
 
The Prime Minister instructed all ministries to complete their important work by next April to pave the way for national elections later that year.

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Thai legislature supports referendum on new charter

The National Legislative Assembly stated its support last week for a limited referendum on the new draft constitution, a key element in the government’s roadmap to rebuild a more sustainable democracy.
The National Legislative Assembly stated its support last week for a limited referendum on the new draft constitution, a key element in the government’s roadmap to rebuild a more sustainable democracy.
 
National Legislative Assembly (NLA) members said that the public should be given a chance to vote on specific articles in the draft charter that create different political structures than previously employed, but that there was no need to vote on other elements that were consistent with or similar to previous constitutions.

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Political parties agree on need for sustainable democracy

Representatives of Thailand’s two largest and opposing political parties agreed publicly last week that charter drafters and reformers need to produce a draft constitution that will satisfy most Thais, even if formulating such a charter takes longer than originally anticipated and leads to elections being held later than expected.
Representatives of Thailand’s two largest and opposing political parties agreed publicly last week that charter drafters and reformers need to produce a draft constitution that will satisfy most Thais, even if formulating such a charter takes longer than originally anticipated and leads to elections being held later than expected.
 
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) had drawn a roadmap for a return to electoral democracy by late 2015 or early 2016.

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Graft commissions targeting corrupt officials, land thieves

The government escalated its war on graft last week when the National Anti-Corruption Commission prepared two lists of allegedly corrupt government officials for review and possible action by a committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, with Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya vowing to punish and take legal measures against any officials if the evidence is sufficient.
The government escalated its war on graft last week when the National Anti-Corruption Commission prepared two lists of allegedly corrupt government officials for review and possible action by a committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, with Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya vowing to punish and take legal measures against any officials if the evidence is sufficient. 
 
“Anyone who has committed wrongdoing should know they are now in the hot seat,'” said Sansern Poljeak, Secretary-General of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). 

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Charter debates heat up; drafter says elections certain in 2016

Sharp disagreements emerged last week between members of the National Reform Council and the Constitution Drafting Committee about several elements in the charter being drafted by the Committee. The head of the charter Committee said, meanwhile, that elections would surely take place in 2016.
Sharp disagreements emerged last week between members of the National Reform Council and the Constitution Drafting Committee about several elements in the charter being drafted by the Committee.

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Public providing input on draft charter at forums

Members of the public have provided several useful suggestions for what the Constitution Drafting Committee should include in the new national charter during a series of seven public forums held around the country, the head of the Committee’s panel on public participation said last week.
Members of the public have provided several useful suggestions for what the Constitution Drafting Committee should include in the new national charter during a series of seven public forums held around the country, the head of the Committee’s panel on public participation said last week. 
 
Thawilwadee Bureekul, head of the panel and member of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), said she hoped that public input into the document would produce an “organic democracy,” that would have a high degree of immunity to the forces and factors that cause democrac

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PM Prayut briefs Ban Ki Moon on progress to democracy

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha briefed United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Thailand’s progress towards building a sustainable democracy during a meeting in Japan last week that ended with Ban inviting Prayut to attend the General Assembly meeting in New York in September.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha briefed United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Thailand’s progress towards building a sustainable democracy during a meeting in Japan last week that ended with Ban inviting Prayut to attend the General Assembly meeting in New York in September. 
 
The meeting took place on the sidelines of the U.N.'s Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, on 14 March.

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