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

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    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.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora