An uneven playing field, limited transparency in the vote-counting process and playing on voters’ fears of instability, Palang Pracharat casts shadows over Thailand’s first elections in eight years.
Thailand’s left will likely see significant wins in next week’s elections, despite a court ban on a key opposition party. As the varied opposition parties are still comparatively strong, the court’s ban has accomplished little but to undermine the elections in favour of preserving the status quo.
Last week Thailand’s national assembly passed a new Cybersecurity Law law that grants the government broad powers to access internet users’ data. Critics say the law’s vague language could be used to violate rights to freedom of speech and expression.
Last week, the King of Thailand blocked Princess Ubolratana from running for Prime Minister. As pro-junta groups seek to capitalize on this misstep by a pro-reform party, they could derail the elections.
This week, pollution in Bangkok reached dangerous levels. As the government rushed to implement short-term fixes, Bangkok is left crying out for a dynamic, government-wide approach to tackling pollution.
New data indicates Thailand has the highest wealth inequality in the world. With elections expected in February, political parties are forced to address this threat to social stability.
Thailand will break new ground by legalising marijuana for medical use and research. It must act decisively to capitalise on the opportunities this will present.
As the 2019 chair of ASEAN, Thailand hopes to push an agenda focused on economic cooperation and regional security. But to succeed at either of these, ASEAN must first find a way to address glaring rights abuses in its member states.
The Pheu Thai Party faces several legal challenges that pose a threat to its survival. As the most popular opposition party, its dissolution would be an assault on Thai democracy.
Alibaba has signed four Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with Thailand. The nation expects more benefits to follow.