Clashes Could Occur

Yingluck Shinawatra. By Gerd Seidel (Rob Irgendwer) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Yingluck Shinawatra. By Gerd Seidel (Rob Irgendwer) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of Thailand, was removed from power following a Constitutional Court ruling that Ms Yingluck acted illegally when she transferred her national security head to another position in 2011. The following day, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) unanimously voted to indict Ms Yingluck, the commission’s chief said. If convicted, Ms. Yingluck will be barred from politics for 5 years. The NACC is also considering whether to file criminal charges against Ms Yingluck.

Thailand’s turmoil began in November of 2013, after Yingluck had secured the support of her base in the northern regions of the country by providing free health care and other subsidies in exchange for their loyalty. However, anti-government protesters, who tend to be urban and middle-class voters, have protested against Ms Yingluck’s administration for months, occupying official buildings and disrupting elections in February. They say ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, who is also Ms Yingluck’s brother, is still controlling the government, and that the ruling party has been buying votes with irresponsible spending pledges aimed at its support base.

Both sides have planned rallies this week, and there are fears that clashes could occur.

Thailand continues to evolve from the old regime of an isolated Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy toward a more open and democratic state. As the progression travels through the Thai culture, there will be many hard and difficult lessons in the coming years. Democracy is not easy.

Thailand was attempting these changes when the rice scandal revealed levels of corruption and misappropriation that the US Congress could envy. Under the rice subsidy scheme, the government bought rice from Thai farmers at a much higher price than on the global market. Ms Yingluck has previously said she was only in charge of formulating the policy, not the day-to-day running of the scheme, and has said that the commission treated her unfairly. However, it resulted in the accumulation of huge stockpiles of rice and hit Thailand’s rice exports hard.

Meet the new boss… Same as the old boss.

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About MNgranny

MNgranny has been an activist since the age of 17. After earning a BA in Mass Communications and enjoying a 30 year career, she is now disabled and dedicates her life to that activism. Her experiences include volunteering in community service organizations and taking leadership roles throughout her academic and professional life. She is also a survivor of rape and domestic violence, a published author and a master naturalist. She is also a professional member of the United States Press Association. She has focused for the last several years and specializes in Kurdish history, culture and politics.

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