On 22 May 2014, the Royal Thai Armed Forces, led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Commander of the Royal Thai Army (RTA), launched a coup d'état, the 12th since the country's first coup in 1932, against the caretaker government of Thailand, following six months of political crisis. The military established a junta called the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to govern the nation.
After dissolving the government and the Senate, the NCPO vested executive and legislative powers in its leader and ordered the judicial branch to operate under its directives. In addition, it partially repealed the 2007 constitution, save the second chapter which concerns the king, declared martial law and curfew nationwide, banned political gatherings, arrested and detained politicians and anti-coup activists, imposed Internet censorship and took control of the media.
The NCPO issued an interim constitution granting itself amnesty and sweeping power. The NCPO also established a military dominated national legislature which later unanimously elected General Prayut as the new prime minister of the country.
|2014 Thai coup d'état|
|Part of the 2013–14 Thai political crisis|
Thai soldiers at the Chang Phueak Gate in Chiang Mai.
|National Council for Peace and Order||Yingluck cabinet|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Prayut Chan-o-cha||Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan|
In the 2011 general election, Yingluck Shinawatra and the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) won a landslide victory and formed the government with Yingluck as prime minister. Anti-government protests, led by former Democrat Party secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban, began in November 2013. Suthep later formed the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) for the purpose of demanding the establishment of an unelected "people's council" to supervise "political reform". Pro-government groups, including the Red Shirts, held mass rallies in response. Violence occasionally occurred, resulting in a number of deaths and injuries.
In December 2013, Yingluck dissolved the House of Representatives and scheduled a general election for 2 February 2014. Disrupted by the anti-government protesters, the election was not completed on that day. The Constitutional Court then nullified the election on 21 March 2014. On 7 May 2014, the Constitutional Court unanimously removed Yingluck and nine other senior ministers from office over the controversial transfer of a top security officer in 2011. The remaining ministers selected Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan to replace Yingluck as caretaker prime minister as protests continued.
After the coup, PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban told PDRC supporters that he had been in talks with General Prayut since 2010 about how to exclude Thaksin and his family from power. He also claimed that before declaring martial law, General Prayut told him that "Khun Suthep and your masses of PDRC supporters are too exhausted. It's now the duty of the army to take over the task". Similarly, Reuters reported in December 2013 that close friends of Prayut, former army chief, Anupong Paochinda, and General Prawit Wongsuwan were supporters of the PDRC. After the coup, Prawit was named Deputy Prime Minister.
The RTA intervened on 20 May 2014, when its commander, General Prayut, exercised the power under the act promulgated by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) entitled Martial Law, BE 2457 (1914), to impose martial law nationwide from 03:00. He said through a television pool that the imposition of martial law was due to continuous violence from both sides and was for the purpose of allowing the army to restore and maintain the peace.
After imposing martial law, General Prayut ordered the dissolution of the Centre for Administration of Peace and Order, a police body formed by the caretaker government to resolve the crisis. He then established a Peace and Order Maintaining Command (POMC) with himself as its commander. Charged with the duty to "restore peace to the people from all sides without delay", the POMC was initially given the power to "prevent, suppress, abate and resolve" any situation affecting national security, to enforce every provision of the martial law, and to summon any person. General Prayut also ordered the personnel of the police, navy, air force and Ministry of Defence to be subject to the POMC.
In Bangkok, soldiers were stationed in many places and the main roads were blockaded. The military retook the Government House from the PDRC protesters and seized all television stations in Bangkok and some other parts of the country before shutting down some stations, including those of the PDRC and the Red Shirts. General Prayut later ordered all media to replace their regular programs with the POMC programs whenever he required. and imposed a ban on publishing information which might affect the military's mission. He also directed all government agency chiefs to report to him.
The caretaker government complained that it had not been consulted about the martial law-related decisions of the army. The army claimed that the move was not a coup d'état and that the government remained in office.
After its establishment, the POMC held talks with rival groups for two days in an attempt to find resolution. It was reported that the participants were of conflicting opinions and no agreement could be adopted. During talks, the caretaker government was requested by the Election Commission to resign. The government denied the request, saying it was required by the constitution to stay in office. The 2007 constitution prescribed that the cabinet vacates office en bloc upon dissolution of the House of Representatives but it shall remain in office and continue to function until a new cabinet takes office.
On the afternoon of 22 May 2014, the POMC held another talk at the Thai Army Club on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road The talk had proceeded for five hours without reaching agreement, whilst the government maintained that it bore a legal duty to remain in office. At the meeting, General Prayut eventually said to Minister of Justice Chaikasem Nitisiri who led the government representatives: "The talk knows no end because you all only speak about the law. [...] The government insists that it won't resign, right?" Chaikasem replied: "Not at this moment". General Prayut then told the meeting that "Sorry, I must seize power" and ordered the detention of the cabinet members as well as the leaders of the PDRC, Red Shirts, and political parties who attended the talk, much to the dismay of the media representatives who were present. They were held at the First Infantry Regiment of the King's Guards.
On the evening of 22 May 2014, General Prayut announced through a televised address that the armed forces were assuming control of national administration, formally launching a coup d'état against the caretaker government and establishing the NCPO to rule the state.
Later that night, the NCPO repealed the 2007 constitution, save the second chapter which deals with the king.:10 In addition, it formally ordered the dissolution of the caretaker government, but the Senate as well as all other state agencies, including the courts and the independent organs, were kept intact. The NCPO declared its composition as follows:
The NCPO then announced that its leader would exercise all powers and duties which the laws invest in the prime minister and the cabinet, until there was a new prime minister. It placed its members in charge of government ministries and equivalent agencies.
On 24 May 2014, the NCPO dissolved the existing Senate and granted legislative powers to its leader. It ordered the judicial branch to operate under its directives. It transferred Police General Adul to an inactive post in the Office of the Prime Minister and replaced him with Police General Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit. Adul was seen as a loyalist of the deposed government.
Immediately after the coup was launched, caretaker Prime Minister Niwatthamrong, who did not attend the talks, left his office at the Ministry of Commerce so as to avoid being apprehended by the military. The NCPO ordered him and the cabinet members who were not detained to report to the military that day. It was reported that Niwatthamrong attempted to establish a government-in-exile at the United States embassy in Bangkok, but the embassy denied the report.
On the night of 22 May 2014, military officers detained additional politicians, including Chalerm Yubamrung and his sons. The following day, the NCPO summoned PTP members and Shinawatra family members, including Yingluck. Niwatthamrong and Yingluck surrendered themselves to the NCPO on that day. Yingluck was detained at an undisclosed "safe house". The NCPO said it released her on 25 May.
The NCPO later summoned another 114 prominent figures from both sides and stated that those who refused to submit to it would be apprehended and prosecuted. Activist Sombat Boonngamanong, better known as Dotty Editor, was the first person who refused to surrender, saying "Hilarious. Not reporting [to the junta] is considered a criminal offense." He challenged the summons with a post on Facebook: "Catch me if you can". The NCPO responded by stating that on the morning of 24 May, it would send soldiers to apprehend those who failed to appear. One of those apprehended on that day was Panthongtae Shinawatra, a nephew of Yingluck. Sombat was eventually apprehended on 5 June 2014 in Chon Buri Province. The military tracked him down through the Internet, using the IP address he used to post his comments. In addition to two years in jail for violating its orders, the military said Sombat will face seven years of imprisonment on grounds of encouraging people to violate its orders, which are the "law of the nation". The military also said that those who provided refuge to Sombat were to be dealt with by two years in jail on account of "harbouring a criminal".
The NCPO also summoned the Bangkok diplomatic corps to its headquarters. In its summons, it said the corps were merely "invited" to a meeting with the military figures, so that they would have "correct understanding" of its mission. Many foreign ambassadors, including German Ambassador Rolf Peter Schulze, refused to go.
Former Minister of Education Chaturon Chaisaeng was the first person to be tried in a military court for failing to appear as summoned by the NCPO. Soldiers apprehended Chaturon in front of a crowd of foreign journalists immediately after giving a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand on 27 May 2014. An NCPO spokesman said that holding a press conference with foreign media was deemed improper and against NCPO policy. Chaturon faced fourteen years of imprisonment in consequence of computer crime charges.
Upon announcing the coup, the NCPO laid down a ban on political gatherings and directed all protesters to disperse. It ordered all educational institutes, both public and private, to close from 23–25 May 2014. It imposed a curfew throughout the country, ordering people to stay indoors from 22:00 to 05:00. The curfew time was later changed to 24:00 to 04:00 hours, effective 28 May 2014. The curfew was lifted in most parts of the country on 13 June 2014.
The NCPO ordered all television and radio stations to stop airing their regular programs and to broadcast RTA programs only. It detained Wanchai Tantiwittayapitak, deputy director of the Thai Public Broadcasting Service which operates Thai PBS station, after he permitted the station to live broadcast a special program about the coup on YouTube instead of television. On the program, several scholars, including Chulalongkorn University lecturer Gothom Arya, were interviewed and gave negative comments on the coup. Thai PBS said Wanchai was taken to the First Army Area headquarters to "tune in understanding between the media and army".
On 23 May 2014, the NCPO summoned all media chiefs to the Thai Army Club and ordered Internet service providers to censor any information deemed provocative, causing public disturbance, containing official secrets, likely detrimental to national security, or defamatory to the NCPO. It threatened to shut down social media if its operator failed to block information inciting unrest or inciting "opposition to peacekeeping".
On the afternoon of 23 May, analogue television networks, except Thai PBS, were allowed to resume their normal programming, after the NCPO ordered the Internet service providers to block all broadcast sharing attempts on the Internet and instructed the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to shut down Internet-based television. All digital television networks were permitted to resume broadcasts the following day.
On 24 May 2014, media organisations issued an open letter urging the NCPO to end the restriction of press freedom as soon as possible. The NCPO responded by summoning all media operators, instructing them that they were required to attend a meeting with the NCPO first.
The NCPO stated on 23 May 2014 that it aimed to conduct national "economic, social and political" reforms before elections were permitted. It said a reform council and a national assembly will be set up to work on the reforms. It also said it wanted to handle, inter alia, the rice pledge project problems, and will carry out a project of constructing roads on both banks of the Chao Phraya River. The road construction project was originally initiated by the PTP in 2012 and was part of a flood control project.
General Prayut said he would run the country until the situation required an interim government. In administering the country, he said he will use the military command and control systems which he believed would develop the country. The NCPO announced that its leader would determine national administrative policies, both "short-term and long-term".
Unlike previous coups, there were no promises of a quick return to civilian rule. On 26 May, the NCPO held a press conference at which a Thai Rath journalist asked General Prayut if he would become the new prime minister himself. Prayut did not refuse, answering, "It is already in the plan." Another journalist, from the Bangkok Post, asked when an election would happen. Prayut replied, "[An election] depends on the situation. [There is] no deadline. That's enough", before walking out of the conference room. The following day, both journalists were summoned by the NCPO on grounds of "giving questions that lessen public confidence in the ruler".
An NCPO spokesman also said that normal democratic principles could not be applied at the current time. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the military's decisions showed that General Prayut is preparing "a long-term pervasive takeover without the calling of quick elections".
On 29 May 2014, Lieutenant General Chatchalerm Chalermsukh, deputy army chief of staff, told reporters at a press conference in Bangkok, that while elections would be held, there was no timetable. "Right conditions" would have to be put in place before an election took place, he said. A day later, in a national television address, General Prayut said elections would not be held for at least fifteen months. He warned against resistance to the military and called on all sides to co-operate and stop protesting.
Some observers believe that elections are being postponed due to issues of succession to the throne of Thailand. The king's "...death will shake Thailand like nothing has in its modern history, and the Thai military wants to be firmly in charge when that happens. It is that simple."
On 24 May 2014, the NCPO said King Bhumibol Adulyadej had acknowledged the coup, but stopped short of describing the response as an endorsement. However, on 26 May 2014 the king formally appointed General Prayut to run the country. In Thailand the monarchy is highly respected and royal endorsement was seen as legitimation of the takeover.
On 25 May 2014, the NCPO authorised military courts to try all cases concerning lèse majesté, sedition, national security, and violation of NCPO orders.
On that day, the NCPO searched the residence of Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, an imprisoned magazine editor sentenced in 2013 to 11 years in jail for lèse majesté. The NCPO detained his wife, who had been campaigning for political prisoners, and his son, a fourth year student at the Faculty of Law, Thammasat University. Other critics of the lèse majesté law were detained as well.
The NCPO later summoned a number of exiled activists accused of lèse majesté, including former Chulalongkorn University political science lecturer Giles Ji Ungpakorn and former minister Jakrapob Penkair. They were ordered to appear by 9 June 2014.
An interim constitution was enacted on 22 July 2014, paving the way for the establishment of a national legislature, a provisional government, and a reform council. The draft interim constitution originally required that a draft new constitution be approved by the citizens in a nationwide referendum before it is forwarded to the king for his signature. The requirement was disapproved by the NCPO and was deleted. Wissanu Krea-ngam, a Chulalongkorn University law lecturer who drafted the interim constitution, explained that the requirement was deleted to avoid "lengthy process".
Many PDRC protesters lauded the announcement of the coup at their rally sites. Phra Buddha Issara, a then Buddhist monk and PDRC co-leader, went on stage to proclaim the victory of the anti-Shinawatra government protesters before requesting that his followers disperse and go home. Soldiers took over the pro-government protest sites and fired shots in the air to disperse protesters.
In spite of a ban on political gatherings of more than five persons, demonstrators, including Thammasat University students, marched to the Democracy Monument on 23 May 2014 to express their anger at the coup. However the military stopped them from reaching the monument, citing fear of violence and clashes.
On the same day, separate protests took place outside the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, led by freelance media, artists, and social activists. Soldiers sent by the NCPO detained the protesters. A live round was fired and the whereabouts of those apprehended was not known.
On 24 May 2014, a group held an anti-coup protest in front of Major Ratchayothin Cinema in Bangkok, where a company of troops with riot shields was stationed. On that evening, another group of at least 1,000 protesters marched to the Victory Monument. The military tried to stop their procession, using a police truck. Some of the protesters were apprehended but were released after negotiation.
At midday on 25 May 2014, a group of anti-coup protesters gathered in front of a McDonald's restaurant at Ratchaprasong, in the heart of Bangkok. Soldiers arrived and seized the area. Another group of people tried to march from the Victory Monument to the Pathum Wan intersection protesting the coup. The military managed to block them.
Anti-coup protests also took place outside Bangkok. In Chiang Mai Province, a group of people clad in black held anti-coup activities for days, including marching to the city's ancient walls where they performed a candle-lit ceremony opposing the military's action. Some of them were apprehended by military on 24 May. Anti-coup rallies also occurred in several other provinces. In Khon Kaen Province, students held a ceremony to bid farewell to democracy in front of Central Plaza Khon Kaen shopping mall where soldiers were stationed. In Maha Sarakham Province, students held an anti-coup protest in the middle of the city but soldiers came and seized protest materials such as banners. A group of Thais living in Australia held anti-coup activities at Kings Park, Perth, on 26 May.
A number of anti-coup activists outside Bangkok were later summoned by regional military courts and were detained without charges.
On 10 June 2014, Chalard Vorachat, a retired pilot officer and renowned hunger striker, sued the NCPO before the Criminal Court. Chalard alleged that the NCPO, by staging the coup, committed insurrection. The court dismissed the case, ruling that Chalard was not the victim and was therefore not entitled to institute the case, although Chalard claimed that he was the victim because his rights and liberties had been affected by the coup.
Anti-coup sentiment was also echoed on Thai social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LINE, even though the military had previously warned that it would block social media if material critical of the coup was published.
A reporter, Pornthip Mongyai, was dismissed by her news agency, Mono Group, after a photo of Pornthip, wearing a press armband, stood next to a line of soldiers with an "X" taped over her lips, went viral on the Internet.
In response to anti-coup activities on social media, the NCPO ordered the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) to block Facebook in Thailand "from time to time", effective from 28 May 2014. On that evening, Facebook was blocked for about an hour throughout the country. The MICT stated on 24 May that more than 100 URLs have been blocked under martial law.
People calling for protests on social media were warned that they will face prosecution for sedition. The military also said that liking an anti-coup page on Facebook constituted a criminal offence.
Thai coup protesters used the three-finger salute from The Hunger Games film series, symbolising their opposition to the coup. Three extended fingers represent equality, liberty, and brotherhood. The military announced that it would arrest anyone who displayed the salute.
Protesters then adopted the sandwich as their new anti-coup symbol. They handed out sandwiches, shouting "sandwiches for democracy!". On 22 June 2014, a student eating sandwiches in front of Siam Paragon and a group of students who were to organise a sandwich activity at the same venue were apprehended and were later placed in detention.
Apart from using the three-finger salute and eating sandwiches in public, two other acts of expressing anti-coup stance have been criminalised: reading George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four in public, and wearing shirts with certain slogans such as "Peace Please" and "Respect My Vote".
Private citizens performing other symbolic acts were also apprehended and detained. These included: an aged woman wearing a mask with the word "People", a man shouting "I'm a common citizen who feels shame because there's another coup in my country", a fried squid vendor wearing a red shirt, a group of people covering their eyes, ears, and mouths, a group of movie commentators and artistic activists intending to organise the displaying of the film Nineteen Eighty-Four, a group of people holding activities in front of Wat Phra Si Mahathat, a temple in Bangkok, to commemorate the transition of absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy in the Siamese revolution of 1932, a student playing "La Marseillaise" in public, a group of people holding papers asking "Where are the people?", and a man holding a paper saying "Holding papers is not a crime". All were to be tried in military courts for sedition.
On 25 May 2014, a pro-coup group held a counter-rally at the Democracy Monument calling on the NCPO to conduct reforms before a general election. The following day, a group of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a similar rally.
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said on 25 May 2014 that he was sorry that he could not protect democracy. The following day, he urged the NCPO to take tough measures against anti-coup groups.
The coup met with strong reactions from Thai academics, with the majority expressing serious concern over its negative impact on Thailand's democracy and human rights. But some Thai academics argued that there was no other solution to Thailand's problems.
A group of university lecturers, who call themselves the Assembly for the Defence of Democracy (AFDD), issued a statement on 23 May 2014, emphasizing the right of the people to offer resistance to an illegitimate ruler and requesting the military to promptly release the detained protesters. In its statement, the AFDD said,
A good ruler shall not rule by force. He must be accepted by the public, must gain public consent, must keep his words, and must acquire faith and trust from everyone. If the NCPO treats the people as its enemy and keeps on suppressing them by force, it will face endless resistance and will have to suppress countless people. Eventually, there will be no one left to be ruled.
On that day, AFDD members gathered in front of the Dome Building of Thammasat University to express their anti-coup stance. The scholars from the Midnight University also issued a statement denouncing the coup and demanding the resignation of the National Human Rights Commission.
On 26 May 2014, Phra Paisal Visalo, a monk renowned for his roles in human rights protection, denounced the coup, saying "Even though this coup brought an end to some urgent problems..., it is the beginning of new various problems which are surely more serious".
In response to heavy opposition from the academic sector, military officers were stationed at some higher education institutions to prevent academics from expressing political opinions or holding political activities. These included Thammasat University's Tha Pra Chan Campus in Bangkok.
The NCPO summoned leading pro-democracy scholars. Despite the NCPO threatening that those failing to show up would face criminal penalties, the summoned said they would not submit to the military. A number of scholars who failed to appear were later apprehended, such as Thammasat University law lecturer Sawatree Suksri who was apprehended at Suvarnabhumi Airport on 7 June 2014 after travelling back from the United States on a US embassy study trip about human rights.
The military also ordered Thai diplomats to take measures to force the return of exiled academicians. One of the targets was Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a 'wannabe' Thai associate professor at Kyoto University who challenged the summons by asking if he could send his pet chihuahua to meet with General Prayut in his stead. Pavin claimed that the Thai ambassador in Tokyo and consul general in Osaka have both been told by the military that if they fail to force Pavin to return, they will either be transferred or forced out of the foreign service. On 13 June 2014, the NCPO issued an arrest warrant against Pavin.
The United States suspended US$3.5m in military aid to Thailand from its overall aid package of US$10.5 million and cancelled military engagements, including military visits and training. It also urged tourists to cancel trips and halted non-essential visits by its governmental officers.
The coup also resulted in the cancellation of American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift's concert “The Red Tour”, formerly scheduled on 9 June 2014, in Bangkok, and the postponement of several events, including USA Fair 2014 scheduled for 30 May–2 June 2014.
After the NCPO vowed on 11 June 2014 to deal with illegal foreign workers in Thailand, saying "we see illegal workers as a threat", a very large number of foreign migrants, more than half of whom were women and children, left the country the same day. The International Organization for Migration described the event as a "sudden influx" and expressed its concern. The BBC reported on 16 June 2014 that more than 180,000 Cambodians fled Thailand after the NCPO announced the crackdown. A group of Cambodians died in a car accident on their way to the border and this enraged the Cambodian government, which said the Thai military must be held responsible for all the problems that have occurred. Burmese migrants in northern Thailand were arrested and were released only after a "protection fee" was paid. Rights groups said employers in southern Thailand had also advised their foreign workers to go into hiding in the woods or rubber plantations to avoid arrest.
Reference to Thai legislation in any jurisdiction shall be to the Thai version only. This translation has been made so as to establish correct understanding about this Act to the foreigners.
การปกครองที่ดีนั้นไม่ใช่การปกครองด้วยการใช้กำลังบังคับข่มเหงเพียงอย่างเดียว แต่จะต้องทำให้ประชาชนยอมรับ ทำให้ประชาชนให้ความยินยอม เป็นผู้มีวาจาสัตย์ และเป็นที่ไว้เนื้อเชื่อใจของประชาชนทุกฝ่าย หากคณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติเห็นประชาชนเป็นศัตรูและมุ่งใช้กำลังข่มเหงเพียงอย่างเดียวเช่นนี้แล้ว ท่านก็จะต้องเผชิญกับการต่อต้านอย่างไม่รู้จบ และท่านก็จะปราบปรามประชาชนไปนับไม่ถ้วน จนกระทั่งท่านก็จะไม่เหลือประชาชนให้ปกครองอีกเลย
รัฐประหารครั้งนี้ แม้จะยุติปัญหาเฉพาะหน้าต่าง ๆ ได้ ... แต่มันเป็นจุดเริ่มต้นของปัญหาใหม่ ๆ ที่จะตามมาอีกมากมายซึ่งอาจรุนแรงกว่าปัญหาเดิม
The year 2014 was the 233rd year of the Rattanakosin Kingdom of Thailand. It was the 69th year in the reign of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), and is reckoned as year 2557 in the Buddhist Era. Significant events include the continuing political crisis which led to a coup d'état on 22 May.2019 Thai general election
General elections were held in Thailand on 24 March 2019, the first since the 2014 Thai coup d'état that installed coup leader General Prayut Chan-o-cha as prime minister, and the first held in accordance with the 2017 constitution, which was drafted under the ruling military junta. The elections selected the five hundred seats of the House of Representatives, which had been dissolved by the coup.
Seventy-seven parties contested the elections, including the two major parties, Pheu Thai (which supported former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and held a majority of seats prior to the coup) and the Democrat Party (the main opposition party prior to the coup). They were joined by several new parties, which mostly campaigned on a pro- or anti-junta stance. The former included the Prayut-aligned Palang Pracharath Party, while the latter included the Future Forward Party, which catered to young voters, as well as several Pheu Thai–aligned parties.
The elections were held using a new mixed-member apportionment system, in which voters cast a single vote for both their constituency and a nationwide party list, which are combined to achieve proportional representation. It also differed from previous elections in that under the new constitution, the prime minister need not be an elected member of the house, and will be chosen by the Parliament, which also includes 250 members of the Senate (rather than only by the House of Representatives, as was previously done).
The elections were widely seen as a skewed race in which Prayut—who previously announced his entry into electoral politics—had an unfair advantage, as the 250 sitting members of the appointed Senate were to be selected by the junta. The Royal Family, which is normally regarded to be above politics, also became involved in unusual ways. In its prime minister candidate nomination, the Pheu Thai–aligned Thai Raksa Chart Party named Princess Ubol Ratana, the elder sister of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, leading to condemnation by the King and the party's dissolution by the Constitutional Court. The King, in an unusual move, also issued a statement on the night prior to the election urging the people to remember a quote from his father the late king to support "good people".
Overseas voting took place from 28 January to 19 February, and advanced voting took place throughout the country on 17 March. The main election took place from 08:00 to 17:00 on 24 March. Rights groups and election monitors criticized the election for its biased environment, and the Election Commission for many errors and irregularities. Announcement of the results were repeatedly delayed, and were partially announced on 26 March, with another announcement scheduled for the 29th. The official outcome may not be finalized until May.
Pheu Thai won a non-absolute majority of seats, although Palang Pracharath, coming in at second, received a higher total vote count. Most of the remaining seats were won by Future Forward, Democrat and Bhumjaithai.Chalard Worachat
Chalard Worachat (Thai: ฉลาด วรฉัตร born c. 1933) is a Thai activist. His 1992 hunger strike helped bring down the military government. His 1994 hunger strike forced the government of Chuan Leekpai to establish a committee to amend the constitution of Thailand. Following the 2006 Thailand coup d'état, he was arrested by military troops for protesting.In the wake of the 2014 Thai coup d'état, the now 71-year-old onetime parliamentarian is back on water and honey.House of Representatives (Thailand)
The House of Representatives (Thai: สภาผู้แทนราษฎร; RTGS: Sapha Phuthaen Ratsadon; IPA: [sà.pʰaː pʰûː.tʰɛːn râ:t.sà.dɔːn]) is the lower house of the National Assembly of Thailand, the legislative branch of the Thai government. The system of government of Thailand is that of a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. The system of the Thai legislative branch is modelled after the Westminster system. The House of Representatives has 500 members, all of which are democratically elected: 375 members were directly elected through single constituency elections, while the other 125 are elected through party-list proportional representation. The roles and powers of the House of Representatives were enshrined in the Constitution of 2017.
The House of Representatives was temporarily abolished as a result of the 2014 Thai coup d'état and replaced with the unicameral National Legislative Assembly, a body of 250 members, selected by the National Council for Peace and Order. After the promulgation of the 2017 Constitution in April 2017, the House of Representatives is reestablished but the constitution allows the military National Legislative Assembly to remain in place until the House of Representatives is formed following the 2019 general election.Internet censorship in Thailand
Most Internet censorship in Thailand prior to the September 2006 military coup d'état was focused on blocking pornographic websites. The following years have seen a constant stream of sometimes violent protests, regional unrest, emergency decrees, a new cybercrimes law, and an updated Internal Security Act. Year by year Internet censorship has grown, with its focus shifting to lèse majesté, national security, and political issues. By 2010, estimates put the number of websites blocked at over 110,000. In December 2011, a dedicated government operation, the Cyber Security Operation Center, was opened. Between its opening and March 2014, the Center told ISPs to block 22,599 URLs.The subsequent 2014 Thai coup d'état has led to further restrictions on Internet content in the country, using the powers of the coup's National Council for Peace and Order.Internet filtering in Thailand was classified as selective in the social, political, and Internet tools areas, and no evidence of filtering was found in the conflict/security area by the OpenNet Initiative in November 2011. Thailand is on Reporters Without Borders list of countries under surveillance in 2011.Freedom House, in 2014 awarded Thailand an overall score of 62 ("not free") (0=best, 100=worst) for Internet freedom, citing substantial political censorship and the arrests of bloggers and other online users, ranking it 52 of 65 countries. In 2013 Thailand had been rated as "partly free".Kai Maew
Kai Maew (Thai: ไข่แมว, also spelled Khai Maew, RTGS: Khai Maeo, meaning "cat egg") is a Thai satirical webcomic, published from 2016 to 2018 on its Facebook page, which used the alias cartooneggcat. The cartoon satirized Thai politics and current events, especially the military government that came to power in the 2014 Thai coup d'état. Launched in April 2016, it gained 330,000 "likes" over its first year, and had over 450,000 likes and followers when it was abruptly taken down on 18 January 2018.
Kai Maew was one of a handful of outlets producing humour content critical of the junta amidst an atmosphere of political repression. In 2017, Reuters described the page as being at the forefront of the trend, and it was named "Facebook page of the year" in an online vote organized by the political news site Prachatai.Kai Maew's cartoons are wordless, using a number of distinctive caricatures to poke fun at various political personalities. These include regularly appearing figures such as junta leader/prime minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, as well as rotating figures from the news such as student-activist Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal and fugitive Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya. One of its long-running gags was Jack Maew (the name given to Thaksin's caricature) being the one pulling the strings behind everything.The comic's creator, who worked anonymously, has said in interviews that he took inspiration from the work of Spanish cartoonist Joan Cornellà. Despite the nature of his work, he admitted to self-censorship on some topics due to fears of prosecution, and noted that Facebook has deleted some of his posts in response to user reports, despite them not violating any rules.
On 18 January 2018, Kai Maew's Facebook page abruptly became unavailable. It was unclear what the cause of the disappearance was. The comics later resumed on 16 February at a different Facebook page, Kai Maew X (alias cartooneggcatx).List of annulled elections
This is a list of national political elections that had their results cancelled after they were held, sometimes legally, sometimes following a coup or revolution. Partial cancellations (one or some districts) are omitted.
Estonian Constituent Assembly election, 1918
Bolivian presidential election, 1925 (won by José Gabino Villanueva)
Brazilian presidential election (won by Júlio Prestes, followed by Brazilian Revolution of 1930)
Ecuadorian presidential election, 1931 (won by Neptalí Bonifaz Ascásubi)
Peruvian presidential election, 1936 (won by Luis Antonio Eguiguren)
Costa Rican general election, 1948 (won by Otilio Ulate Blanco, followed by Costa Rican Civil War)
Guatemalan presidential election, 1957 (won by Miguel Ortiz Passarelli)
Cuban presidential election, 1958 (won by Andrés Rivero Agüero, followed by Cuban Revolution)
Iranian legislative election, 1960
Peruvian presidential election, 1962 (won by Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre)
Sierra Leonean general election, 1967 (Siaka Stevens took the oath of office as prime minister but was overthrown the same day)
Dahomeyan presidential election, May 1968 (won by Basile Adjou Moumouni)
Dahomeyan presidential election, 1970 (won by Justin Ahomadegbé)
Lesotho general election, 1970 (won by the Basotho Congress Party)
Guatemalan general election, 1982 (won by Ángel Aníbal Guevara, followed by a coup d'état)
Panamanian general election, 1989 (won by Guillermo Endara, followed by United States invasion of Panama)
Burmese general election, 1990 (won by the National League for Democracy)
Algerian legislative election, 1991 (won by the Islamic Salvation Front, followed by Algerian Civil War)
Nigerian presidential election, 1993 (won by Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola)
Malian parliamentary election, April 1997
Georgian legislative election, 2003 (followed by Rose Revolution)
Papua New Guinea vice-regal election, September 2003 (parliamentary vote won by Sir Albert Kipalan)
Papua New Guinea vice-regal election, December 2003 (parliamentary vote won by Sir Pato Kakaraya)
The original second round results of the Ukrainian presidential election, 2004 (won by Viktor Yanukovych, followed by Orange Revolution)
Kyrgyz parliamentary election, 2005 (followed by Tulip Revolution)
Thai legislative election, April 2006 (followed by 2006 Thai coup d'état)
Icelandic Constitutional Assembly election, 2010
Kosovan presidential election, 2011 (parliamentary vote won by Behgjet Pacolli)
South Ossetian presidential election, 2011
Egyptian parliamentary election, 2011–12
Guinea-Bissau presidential election, 2012 (second round canceled after a coup d'état)
Kuwaiti general election, February 2012
Kuwaiti general election, December 2012
Maldivian presidential election, 2013 (first round re-run)
Thai general election, 2014 (followed by the 2014 Thai coup d'état)
Haitian presidential election, 2015
Austrian presidential election, 2016
Kenyan general election, 2017 (only the presidential election which was initially called for Uhuru Kenyatta)In addition, there are some elections that remain valid but are effectively overturned by the death of the winning candidate before taking office.
Brazilian presidential election, 1918 (won by Francisco de Paula Rodrigues Alves)
Mexican general election, 1928 (won by Álvaro Obregón, assassinated)
South African presidential election, 1967 (won by Theophilus Dönges)
Lebanese presidential election, 1982 (won by Bashir Gemayel, assassinated)
Brazilian presidential election, 1985 (won by Tancredo Neves)Military courts of Thailand
The military courts of Thailand (Thai: ศาลทหาร; RTGS: san thahan) are judicial bodies with criminal jurisdiction over members of the Royal Thai Armed Forces and sometimes also over civilians as may be assigned by law, as was the case from 25 May 2014 until 12 September 2016 following the 2014 Thai coup d'état.Unlike other courts in the judicial system of Thailand, military courts are subject to the Ministry of Defence and are operated by the military's Judge Advocate General's Department.National Council for Peace and Order
The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO; Thai: คณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติ; RTGS: khana raksa khwam sangop haeng chat; abbreviated (Thai: คสช.; RTGS: khosocho) ) is the military junta that has ruled Thailand since its 2014 Thai coup d'état on 22 May 2014. On 20 May 2014, the military had declared martial law nationwide in an attempt to stop the country's escalating political crisis, and to force the democratically elected government out. On 22 May, the military ousted the Yingluck Shinawatra government and formed the NCPO to take control of the country. The junta censored the broadcasting system in Thailand, suspended the constitution, and detained members of the Thai cabinet.NatureWorks
NatureWorks LLC is an international company that manufactures bioplastics—polymers derived entirely from plant resources—as an alternative to conventional plastic, which is made from petroleum. The commercial quality polymer is made from the carbon found in simple plant sugars such as corn starch to create a proprietary polylactic acid polymer (PLA) which is marketed under the brand name Ingeo. Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, NatureWorks is jointly owned by Cargill and PTT Global Chemical, a Thai state-owned company.Peace TV (Thailand)
Peace TV is a Thai television channel, notable for its support for liberal democracy. It is affiliated with United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) It is broadcast via satellite television, cable, and web streaming.Phramongkutklao Hospital
Phramongkutklao Hospital (Thai: โรงพยาบาลพระมงกุฎเกล้า) is a hospital located in Ratchathewi District, Bangkok, Thailand. It is a military hospital for the Royal Thai Army and a teaching hospital for Phramongkutklao College of Medicine which trains doctors for the Royal Thai Armed Forces, as well as the Royal Thai Army Nursing College.Pridiyathorn Devakula
Mom Rajawongse Pridiyathorn Devakula (Thai: ม.ร.ว.ปรีดิยาธร เทวกุล; RTGS: Mom Ratchawong Pridiyathon Thewakun; [prīːdìjāːtʰɔːn tʰē:wâkūn]; born 15 July 1947) is a Thai economist. He was the Governor of the Bank of Thailand from 2001 to 2006. Following the 2006 Thai coup d'état he served as minister of finance and deputy prime minister in the interim civilian government led by Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont. Following the 2014 Thai coup d'état he was appointed as a deputy prime minister in the first military appointed cabinet under General Prayut Chan-o-cha. Two days earlier he had resigned from his position as chairman of the board of Post Publishing PLC, the publisher of the Bangkok Post, Thailand's leading English-language newspaper.Senate of Thailand
The Senate (Thai: วุฒิสภา, RTGS: Wutthisapha, IPA: [wút.tʰí.sà.pʰaː]; formerly known as Thai: พฤฒสภา, RTGS: Phruetthasapha, IPA: [pʰrɯ́t.tʰá.sà.pʰaː]) is the upper house of the National Assembly of Thailand, (Thailand's legislative branch). In accordance with the 2017 Constitution of Thailand, the Senate is a non-partisan legislative chamber, composed of 250 members. All 250 Senators are appointed by the Royal Thai Military. The Senate operates under fixed terms of six years.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives were abolished as a result of the 2014 Thai coup d'état. These were replaced with the unicameral National Legislative Assembly, a body of 250 members, selected by the National Council for Peace and Order. However, the new 2017 constitution, which was approved by a referendum in 2016, re-established the Senate. Following the 2019 general elections, the Senate is to be composed of 250 military-appointed members.After the promulgation of the 2017 Constitution in April 2017, the Senate is re-established but the constitution allows the military National Legislative Assembly to remain in place until the Senate is formed following the 2019 general election.Thai coup d'état
Thai coup d'état or Siamese coup d'état may refer to:
Siamese coup d'état of 1932
Siamese coup d'état of 1933
Siamese coup d'état of 1947
2006 Thai coup d'état
2014 Thai coup d'état, part of the 2013–14 political crisisThai television soap opera
Lakorn are a popular genre of fiction in Thai television. They are known in Thai as ละครโทรทัศน์ (RTGS: lakhon thorathat, lit. "television drama") or ละคร (lakhon, pronounced [la.kʰɔːn], or lakorn). They are shown generally at prime-time on Thai television channels, starting at 20:30. (on Friday nights the lakhorns is interrupted, or broadcast on delay, due to simulcast of The Government-required Weekly Address by the Prime Minister of Thailand that begun after 2014 Thai coup d'état the lakhorns resumed already in progress after Weekly Address is ended on 21:00 or 20:50 or later in some nights) An episode of a prime-time drama is two hours long including commercials. Each series is a finished story, unlike Western "cliffhanger" dramas, but rather like Hispanic telenovelas.A series will run for about three months. It may air two or three episodes a week, the pattern being Monday–Tuesday, Wednesday–Thursday, or Friday–Sunday. A channel will air three soap operas simultaneously at any given time (each producing their own series). Channels will compete for the most popular stars as they attract the most viewers. Some examples are Channel 3, 5 and 7 as well to a lesser extent Channel 9.While the "best" series are shown at night right after the news, the ones with a smaller profiles (and shorter run time) will be shown in the evenings from 17:00–18:00. In some cases, the most popular prime-time series are shown on re-runs a couple of years after their initial release, generally in the afternoon.A lakorn episode is normally 1 hour and a small amount or 30 minutes. When internationally broadcast, the running time is around 45 min. per episode.Thailand–United States relations
Bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Thailand and the United States of America date back to 1818. Thailand and the United States have long been close allies and diplomatic partners.
According to a 2012 Gallup public opinion poll, 60 percent of Thais approved of U.S. leadership under the Obama Administration, with 14 percent disapproving and 26 percent uncertain. As of 2013, there were 7314 international students of Thai origin studying in the United States, representing 0.9 percent of all foreigners pursuing higher education in America. According to a 2014 Global Opinion Poll, 73 percent of Thais have a favorable view of the U.S.Video gaming in Thailand
Video gaming is a rising industry in Thailand. The country is currently the 23rd largest video games market in the world, with a revenue of $338 million in 2015, the highest of Southeast Asia.Wissanu Krea-ngam
Wissanu Krea-ngam (Thai: วิษณุ เครืองาม, RTGS: Witsanu Khruea-ngam, pronounced [wít.sā.núʔ kʰrɯ̄a̯.ŋāːm]; born 15 September 1951) is a Thai jurist, civil servant, and politician. He was the secretary-general of the cabinet from 1993 to 2002 and deputy prime minister under Thaksin Shinawatra from 2002 to 2006. After the 2014 Thai coup d'état, he served as an advisor to the military junta (National Council for Peace and Order, NCPO) responsible for drafting the post-coup 2014 interim constitution. Since August 2014, he has again been deputy prime minister under General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
|Protests and crises|