Thailand: An Overview and Overthrow
The beautiful country of Thailand is situated in the southeastern region of Asia. With its lush forestry and jungles, crystal blue beaches, and exquisite statues and palaces; it is no wonder it is among the region’s top economies, including Hong Kong. It has seen a stretch of economic growth over the last ten years. It has ranged from upwards of 5% from 2002 to 2007 and is forecasted to do the same this year. It has gone from poverty to an upper middle class status in a short timeframe.
Despite the devastating weather events and infrastructure dilemma, the kingdom is still in a transitional process. Although Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since 1932, it has seen eighteen military coups since that time. This has placed a strain on the country of over sixty-nine million people.
As of last week, the legislature has been overturned once again. The political uproar has been very intense and led to the one hundred thousand protesters marching in Bangkok. They claim the government is illegitimate, corrupt, and there needs to be created a “People’s Council.” The anger is also fueled by the citizens wanting to disestablish the ruling party, the Pheu Thai. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra recently abolished the lower house and is seeking early elections throughout the country.
The citizenry are calling for the entire Senate to be selected by direct elections. Protesters state that the government was installed without the consent of the people; instead the military in 2007.
The political and economic stability of the nation is at hand. Legitimate leadership needs to take hold of the country. A strong nation should arise from this matter. If the current leadership is going to remain effective, there must be a credible process and continual improvement. This is so that Thailand may remain a viable nation in the 21st century and beyond.
The United States of America and other western democracies are waiting and watching the democratic process unfold in Thailand in the days and weeks to come.