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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs