James Klein


Abhisit’s Big Test

April 14, 2009


Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is under the microscope this week for his handling of the volatile protests waging in the streets of Bangkok since March 26, and more recently in the seaside town of Pattaya, where Asian leaders were evacuated from a summit meeting. Fueled by nightly video broadcasts by fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawa… Read more


In Thailand: A Reality Check

December 3, 2008


On December 2, 2008, Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled to disband three core parties in Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat’s beleaguered ruling coalition government:  the People Power Party (PPP), Chat Thai (CT), and Matchima Thipataya (MT). The Court also revoked the voting rights of the executives of the three parties for five years, effectivel… Read more


Bangkok’s State of Emergency: The End Game?

September 3, 2008


Once right-wing factions of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) began busing pro-government supporters into Bangkok under the banner of the Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship (DAAD) to confront the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), the violence that erupted was predictable. PAD has been protesting against the government of Prime Minister… Read more


In Thailand: Court Cases to Determine Future of Thai Politics

July 16, 2008


Even before the cabinet of Samak Sundaravej was endorsed on February 6, 2008, many analysts questioned how long his People Power Party (PPP) coalition government would last. After all, Samak was the one who described his own cabinet as “a bit ugly.” Best estimates at the time were that his government would last until October or December. In view of… Read more


Thailand: Misperceptions of the Referendum

September 12, 2007


On Sunday, August 19, 2007, Thailand’s Election Commission organized the Kingdom’s first referendum in history. Voters were given the opportunity to vote either “Yes” or “No” to adopt the newly drafted Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, which would provide the ground rules for a new elected civilian government to replace the Interim Constitut… Read more


In Thailand: No Kangaroo Court Waiting for Thaksin Shinawatra

March 7, 2007


According to the Thai media, one reason given for the decline in popularity of the Council for National Security (CNS) ” led by coup leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin and the interim government of General Surayud Chulanont — has been their failure after five months in office to bring Thaksin Shinawatra and members of his cabinet to justice for c… Read more


In Thailand: Thaksin’s Media Blitz

January 29, 2007


Thailand’s ousted Thaksin Shinawatra can return home if he stays out of politics, interim prime minister Surayud Chulanot has said. The Thai print media extensively reported Thaksin’s censored CNN interview, in which he claimed that “enough was enough” as well as similar interviews with the international print media purporting that he has no intent… Read more