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

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora