'We are the last targets': Thai band fears death

Taking turns to keep watch at their hideout in Lao, the four members of the self-exiled Thai activist folk band "Faiyen" believe they are on a hit-list like eight fellow dissidents who have already disappeared.Lao, which neighbours Thailand, became a haven for some of the most outspoken Thai anti-junta activists after a 2014 coup.All were vituperative in their condemnation of the Thai junta which last month cemented its long hold on power as its chief was elected prime minister by a

26 July 2019

Is Thailand facing economic uncertainty?

Thailand’s economy may be in for far more turbulence than anticipated after the March elections. Social unrest has risen and consumer confidence has sagged since the poll, which this month saw parliament return junta leader General Prayut Chan-o-cha to power. Critics have denounced the election as rigged in favour of the pro-military camp, and foreign investors are holding back.

17 June 2019

Is Thailand’s economy slowing down?

When Kulthirath Pakawachkrilers had to convince yet another Chinese investor that business was still a good bet in Thailand despite the political upheaval, she knew it was going to be a tough sell.Companies once considering investing in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy were now looking at other options – and the uncertainty surrounding the aftermath of the elections was driving much of the concern, said Kulthirath, chief executive officer of the Thailand e-Business Center, which advise

13 June 2019

Thai junta chief Prayut made PM in royal decree

 Junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha formally became Thailand's 29th prime minister Tuesday after a royal endorsement, completing a long transformation from soldier to civilian leader and vowing "love, unity and compassion".But critics may doubt the divisive leader's pledge after his previous stint in power which was marked by a ban on political gatherings, a clamp down on the media and the muzzling of dissent.The 65-year-old ex-army chief led the 2014 coup, the last of

12 June 2019

Court blocks Thai MP from parliament

Thailand's constitutional court on Thursday suspended the wildly popular leader of an anti-junta party from parliament a day before it convenes, putting the brakes on his political career as it agreed to hear a case against him.The dramatic intervention is the latest blow against charismatic billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and his youth-oriented Future Forward Party, which stunned the military establishment by securing over six million votes in 24 March elections but has been s

24 May 2019

Thailand elections: What could happen next?

A coup leader triumphs as a civilian prime minister, an alliance of parties unite to stop him, or a parliamentary deadlock forces another political crisis – the outcome of Thailand's disputed election remains undecided a week after the poll.So, what next?

1 April 2019

Nine Thais arrested for election 'fake news'

Nine people have been arrested in Thailand for spreading "fake news" on Facebook with posts about sacked election officials and bogus ballots in the wake of controversial polls in the kingdom.Junta-ruled Thailand held its first vote since a 2014 coup on Sunday, with a military-backed party and its main rival linked to a self-exiled billionaire both claiming the right to govern. Fully ratified results will not be confirmed for weeks but questions are mounting over election i

29 March 2019

Seven-party Thai coalition to challenge junta

Seven political parties formed a coalition in Thailand on Wednesday, vowing to thwart a military-backed proxy in a bid to end years of junta rule following the country's first election since a 2014 coup.A junta-aligned party and its main rival have both claimed the right to govern the country after Sunday's vote, prompting a political standoff.Questions over irregularities are swirling following invalidated ballots and accusations of skewed numbers.Pheu Thai, affiliated with self-ex

28 March 2019

Thai parties to form democracy 'coalition'

Thai pro-democracy factions on Tuesday moved to unite and thwart a junta-backed party from forming a government after the first election since a 2014 coup.The junta appeared to be in pole position to return to power as a civilian administration after preliminary results from Sunday's poll showed its proxy party had secured an unexpected majority of the popular vote.Around 7.6 million votes went to Phalang Pracharath with 94 percent of ballots tallied, the Election Commission has said.Tha

27 March 2019

Junta party takes shock lead in Thai election

Thailand's ruling junta took an unexpected lead in the country's first election since a 2014 coup with more than 90 percent of ballots counted, election authorities said late Sunday, putting it on course to return to power at the expense of the kingdom's pro-democracy camp.The election, which saw an insipid 64 percent turnout, was held under new laws written by the military to smooth its transformation into a civilian government.While it had set the rules of the game in its fav

25 March 2019

Will Thais ever see another election?

And so, the saga continues. Thailand’s election is probably going to be delayed – again.Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise to Thais and observers alike. Previously slated for 24 February, but just three days into 2019, Thailand’s government has come out and said that holding elections on that date may clash with preparations for the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

10 January 2019

Thailand’s largest party braces for polls

Thailand’s Pheu Thai party has chosen 86-year-old senior party member Viroj Pao-in to lead the country’s main opposition party to challenge the ruling junta as it prepares for upcoming elections which are slated to take place in February next year.

30 October 2018