News / Asia

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

FILE - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
FILE - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
Ron Corben
Thailand's constitutional court has given Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges.  The case comes amid continuing uncertainty over when to hold a new election to end the country's bitter political power struggle.

Yingluck faces possible dismissal from office in two verdicts expected within weeks by the constitutional court and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

Wednesday, the Constitutional Court granted her leave to submit further evidence until May 2, as she faces abuse of power charges.  

Prosecutors allege the prime minister illegally transferred former National Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri as part of a reorganization of senior security officials.  An administrative court has already ruled against the government and ordered Thawil's reappointment. 

A constitutional court verdict against Yingluck could require her to stand down as prime minister.  The court may also order the Cabinet led by the governing Pheu Thai Party to be dissolved.
 
Yingluck also faces NACC charges of negligence in her role as chair of a national rice program committee.  

Compromised

Chulalongkorn University political scientist Panitan Wattanayagorn, a former government spokesman under the Democrat Party, says the prime minister is politically compromised.
 
"The tipping point of the situation is of course the verdict of the court this month or next regarding Khun Yingluck," he said.  "But there are many more cases against her, so her leadership in political terms is over already.  It is a matter of time.  But the trouble is can [the governing] Pheu Thai [Party] find a new leadership without any election to continue their power?  If they cannot the whole thing would collapse for them."
 
Anti-government protestors derailed national elections on February 2 by stopping registration of some candidates and some ballots.  The constitutional court later annulled the vote.
 
Yingluck continues to preside over a caretaker administration, but it lacks the mandate to pass a national budget and has other constitutional curbs on its power.
 
This week the election commission held talks with up to 60 political parties in an effort to re-establish parliamentary democracy.
 
The current political crisis has led to more than 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
 
Mahidol University lecturer Gotham Areeya says there are fears of more clashes unless Thailand successfully moves ahead with new elections.
 
"We do not have much time now.  I would pay more attention to the fact that yesterday seemingly the Election Commission may decide to decide to organize the general election within 60 to 90 days," Areeya said. "In that case the clock will start ticking again and the time for negotiation is becoming shorter if we don't do anything of that sort. So we may head for confrontation.”
 
Analysts say both sides have to negotiate to reconstitute parliament and government amid fears of the longer term economic impact from the economic and political uncertainty.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kevin from: Toronto
April 24, 2014 12:21 AM
VOA is Christian Extremist backed. As usual, you Christian Extremists are at war with Buddhism in Thailand. Look what yas tried to do to Vietnam....that was another war on Buddhism. You want Shinawatra out because she is Buddhist. Well, Thailand IS a Buddhist Country, Christian Extremists have no right to be causing such trouble in Thailand. I am from that region, and I have seen the trouble that VOA, CNN, Israeli Mossad, CIA and Mi6 related people try to or do cause in Asia. Beautiful Buddhist Ms.Shinawatra RULES. You will not get her out of there. She is fantastic.
In Response

by: Noeun Monyneath from: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
May 02, 2014 6:45 AM
Of course, it doesn't matter at all whether we are the Christan or non-believer. Consequently, they just propose what legally going on right now. No matter what religious Shinawatra believe in, but the matter should focus on her leadership and the fact. If people find she good enough to rule the country, then everything will be absolutely ok although she is Buddhist. I think it is a freedom to choose the belief according to democracy of Thailand. If so, ppl can't anti-government cos of opposite religion. That's not fair.

by: Lea
April 23, 2014 3:22 PM
Here too, just like in Venezuela and Ukraine, the Muslims are at work. Overthrowing governments and destabilising countries.
In Response

by: lisa
April 23, 2014 11:46 PM
why are people protesting? what did Yingluck do? someone update me.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs