Thailand Turmoil

Digestible Politics is back with daily posts helping you understand the world around you in a digestible manner!

Today, we shall be talking about what is happening in Thailand and the political crises currently happening…

The Prime Minister

The court in Thailand decided to get rid of their Prime Minister (Yingluck Shinawatra) because it was found she had illegally repositioned the national security chief of Thailand so he would have a different role in government. A further 9 members of the Thai government were told to resign.

Many people are angry about what has happened, believing the court is biased in favour of the opposition.

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What next?

Fears are increasing because it is believed that fights could break out between the ‘red shirts’ (those who support the Prime Minister) and those who are against the Prime Minister.

This political nuisance is nothing new in the country and many protesters have been protesting throughout the Prime Minister’s time in office, by occupying buildings and disrupting elections. So far, approximately 30 people have died during the protests.

Who is the leader of Thailand now?

Those ministers in cabinet who remain are currently leading the country with a caretaker Prime Minister (Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan) – Digestible Politics loves this name!

After disruption at a previous election earlier in the year, a new election is being held in July. However, there are fears that there will be even more protests to come in these elections.

The latest crises

A controversial amnesty bill (an amnesty is where you give a pardon to someone) was passed by the government, which could potentially lead to Thaksin Shinawatra (a former leader and also Yingluck’s sister) returning to politics without ever setting foot in jail.

Many thousands of people have showed their opposition to the bill, which was eventually dropped, but anti-government protests remain.

What are your thoughts on the protests in Thailand? Should they have ousted their Prime Minister?

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Thailand Elections – Your Questions Answered!

Tomorrow, Thailand will be holding their elections amid a series of anti-government protests sweeping across the country.

Why does tension exist?

The country is politically divided. Those protesting are mostly from the middle class and do not want the election to take place. The Democratic Party are also refusing to take part in the election. However, the Pheu Thai Party (who are the current governing party) want the election to take place. Its supporters, who mainly live rurally, also want the election to take place.

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Why the opposition?

Those protesting strongly believe the president is being influenced by her brother (the former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra). Mr Thaksin, when in power, was found guilty of corruption and now lives in exile.

The election

The governing party have won the last 5 elections, so it is likely they would win again even without the Democratic Party boycott. However, it is believed that without opposition to the government party the results will not be truly democratic. If the government are to win, the problems in the country are set to continue. Even more concerning is the fact that some candidates for the election are unable to resister meaning that a government win is likely to mean not enough members will be elected for the new parliament.

The Voting

Voting poll stations have been obstructed my many protesters. At one polling station protesters padlocked the gates shut, so nobody could vote. Other stations have seen voters harassed and intimidated as to stop people voting. Many of the polling station were closed (including all of them in Bangkok) which is likely to significantly reduce the voter turnout further reducing the democratic legitimacy of the results. However, Suthep Thaugsuban (one of the main leaders of the protest) has told protesters to allow voters to case their vote.

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