Thai politics

Thai Politics Update: Constitution Court Case and Assessing Yingluck’s First Year

Here are a few recent Thailand-related stories I wanted to point out:

Embedded above and online here is a recent Al Jazeera story on the anniversary of Yingluck’s election — and what the future might hold in store for her.

Elsewhere, Reuters reported earlier this week:

With the help of her photogenic looks, disarming personality and popular appeal, Thailand’s first female prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, has helped maintain a fragile peace since being swept to power in a divided country one year ago.

The political neophyte, who leapt from running a boardroom to governing the country in less than three months, has surprised critics and reassured investors by rebounding from devastating floods and building ties with the top brass of a military entrenched in Thailand’s rough-and-tumble politics.

But the honeymoon might not last much longer and the reason for that lies with her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, a former premier whose political machine catapulted her to power.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg has a story today on the Constitution Court hearings:

Thailand’s Constitutional Court opens hearings today to determine if allies of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra can rewrite a charter ratified after the army ousted him in 2006, raising the possibility of street protests.

The court last month ordered Parliament to halt consideration of an amendment that would establish a body to rewrite the constitution until it decides whether the process complies with the current charter. The ruling may undermine plans by the party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin’s sister, to change the document to increase the power of elected politicians over appointed judges and bureaucrats.

And The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday on the case:

Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra faces the possibility her party could be dissolved, just one year after her landslide election victory.

The Constitutional Court is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday on whether the methods used by her Puea Thai (For Thais) party in attempting to amend the constitution—written after the military overthrew Ms. Yingluck’s elder brother Thaksin Shinawatra in a 2006 coup—are illegal.

And finally, for more nitty gritty on the case, see this Bangkok Post story today:

Fifteen people will take the stand when the Constitution Court holds its two-day inquiry beginning today into the legality of the government-sponsored charter amendment bid.

The charter court has finalised the lists of people who will appear in court _ seven from the complainants and eight from the defence, said Constitution Court spokesman Somrit Chaiwong yesterday.

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