Current Political Situation in ThailandThe current political situation in Thailand
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In spite of the promise of a democratic recovery, the Thai army has shown little tendency to organise early elections." Under the current political situation in Thailand, a free and open debate can only take place outside the United States. There has been a drastic decline in the South East Asiatic nation's freedoms of opinion and the media since the 2014 war.
Pavin Chachavalpongpun was an extraordinary lecturer at the Center for South East Asian Studies at Kyoto University at the moment of the putsch. Later on, when the reigning government called Pavin to Bangkok for his political opinions, he declined to say that the term had already started and pointed out his lectures. However, the army was not pleased with this act.
It is not an exception, however, as many other Thais have abandoned the land in recent years. Simultaneously, international scientists have abstained from travelling to Thailand. Wolfram Schaffar, who works for the Institute for International Development at the University of Vienna, has not been in Thailand since the 2014 takeover.
Pavin recently paid a visit to Germany at the request of Schaffar and his co-worker Oliver Pye from the University of Bonn to debate political trends in Thailand. Over the last 70 years Thailand has seen 17 coup d'états. On the one side there are the old-fashioned elite in Thai culture, consisting of the king's budget, the army and the red tape.
There are, on the other side, parts of the aspiring upper classes that are calling for more say in the political game. Polarisation of Thai societies has increased significantly over the last two centuries. Assumption of control by the army in 2014 is only one part of this decade-long basic battle for supremacy.
However, Pavin says the move also had a new scale, as it was not just about bringing the old elite back to government, but about getting the land ready for a new age. This is connected with Thailand's King Bhumibol, who passed away in October 2016. It was widely regarded as one of the three cornerstones of Thailand's political establishment. 3.
Then in 2014, when the Emperor was about to be killed, the army entered. "This was about the regulation and control of the regal succession," Pavin said. With this the army wanted to safeguard its special status close to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and that of the right. Pavin stressed that the old-fashioned elite are frightened, and added that they are afraid of an insecure world.
You were particularly frightened of the then Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, who is now crowned. "Bhumibol was too successful," says Pavin. A further problem is the fact that the new sovereign would rather be spending much of his spare minute in the town of Munich in the south of Germany than in Bangkok.
"The Thai are already making a joke: Thailand's capitol is no longer Bangkok, but Munich," says Pavin. Alites are afraid that the new kings will be undermined. In order to counter the decline in sovereignty, the Thai army regime drew up a new treaty, which was passed by the Thai electorate in a popular vote in August 2016.
They' re mighty institution in Thailand. However, they often interfere in the political arena instead of acting as impartial players for the protection of democracies and the state under the rule of law. 3. For example, in 2008 the Federal Supreme Council pushed through a bill to replace the democratic administration. "While in other nations these bodies are used to defend democratic values, in Thailand they are very much connected to the interests of the elite," Pavin underlined.
At first, the analysts said he could not understand the Thai people's choice to support the draft bill drawn up by the war. Fearing that if the Constitutional Treaty had been rejected, the army would have restarted the trial, which would have postponed the schedule for new election even further into the past.
However, Pavin says that this was "a short-term prospect, as the new treaty will influence Thai policy for many years to come. "Thailand is definitely going in the direction of authority, in every respect. Thailand's reigning army regime recently said that a general elections, previously pledged for this year and then deferred to early 2018, are now likely to be deferred to the second half of 2018.
It also noted that the Thai empire has become less influential under the new Emperor and that there have been profound rifts in its state ideal. "But Pavin is sceptical. Whilst he thinks that the conservative elite will someday loose their impact on government, he still sees no alternatives, even though he knows where it must come from.