Thailand. The first Senate elections in Thailand were held in March. Earlier, the senators had been appointed by the prime minister. The candidates did not belong to any party and did not even run any election campaign. The election was held in accordance with the 1997 Constitution, which aims to make voting and other corruption in politics more difficult. The new Independent Electoral Commission rejected so many results that the Senate could not be assembled until August 1 after a large number of re-elections.
Interior Minister Sanan Kajornprasart resigned in March from both the government and parliament, after the National Commission against Corruption accused him of providing false information about his financial assets. In September, he was convicted by the Constitutional Court and excluded from politics for five years.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Thailand. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
The House of Representatives disbanded in November, and a new election was announced shortly after the New Year 2001. Company leader and billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra was believed to be able to bring his newly formed party of Thai straight Thai into power. However, in the autumn, a corruption investigation was launched against him for the same kind of false declaration as the Minister of the Interior. In June, the credit rating agency Moody’s rated Thailand as again suitable for investment, following the completion of the International Monetary Fund’s $ 17 billion stabilization program. The program began in 1997, when Thailand was hit hard by the Southeast Asian financial crisis.
On May 24, Suchinda filed his resignation petition and his Deputy Prime Minister Mitchai Ruchuphan temporarily took over the post. In June, the constitutional amendment was passed and it restricted the military’s participation in the government. Following the amendment, King Bhumibol appointed Anand Panyarachun as Prime Minister. He was a respected politician who had also held the post after the military coup in 91.
Parliament accepted the king’s appointment of Anand Panyarachun as prime minister, and this one started to form a government that was predominantly made up of technocrats. At the same time, 12 officers who had been responsible for the massacre in May were dismissed.
On June 29, parliament was dissolved and new elections were held for September. It was won by the Democratic Party, which got 79 seats in the House of Representatives. On September 23, a new coalition government under the leadership of anti-militarist Chuan Leekpai was deployed. On March 19, 93, he published a new economic program aimed at attracting further foreign investment. What particularly attracted foreign companies was the cost of labor that was lower than in the other countries in the region.
Finance Minister Tarrin Nimmanahaeminda’s plan also included financial support for the rural areas to curb internal population movements, stimulate the unemployed from the cities to return to the country and curb the rampant population growth in the capital Bangkok. The budget deficit for 93 was set at $ 2.2 billion, equivalent to 0.9% of gross domestic product. The government defended the deficit with the need to invest in infrastructure projects, as it was its goal to develop Thailand into regional superpower with the capacity to invest in neighboring Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
But Thailand faces many problems in this process, the most important being the deep poverty of the population and the spread of AIDS. The opposition accused Prime Minister Leekpai of being too slow and inadequate in solving the most immediate problems. On 10-12. On June 93, the opposition put forward a distrust agenda against him, which he survived by 204 against 153 votes.
The country is also plagued by a number of political problems. Leekpai’s own honesty has not yet been questioned, but several of his ministers have previously been involved in illegal activities. Furthermore, lawsuits against the coup general Manun Rupkachom and former prime ministers Chatichai Chunhavan and Anand Paniachurun were conducted. What particularly irritated the opposition was the interruption of the process against Montri Pongpanich, leader of the Social Action Party, who was also a member of the government and therefore had full immunity.
First tourists in seven months
A plane carrying 39 Chinese tourists from Shanghai lands at Bangkok International Airport. It is the first group of tourists to arrive in Thailand in seven months. The Chinese are met by personnel in protective equipment. They have to undergo a medical examination and have their luggage disinfected. Then they put on protective clothing themselves and are taken to a 14-day quarantine. Thailand has the ambition to slowly open up the country despite the spread of the coronavirus has gained new momentum. The pandemic has caused the Thai tourist-dependent Thai economy to almost collapse. Around eight million inhabitants are expected to have lost their jobs before the end of the year, many of them in the tourism industry.
Exemption laws are repealed
Prime Minister Prayut withdraws his decree on emergency laws that were introduced to quell the regime-critical demonstrations. The exemption laws meant, among other things, that gatherings of more than four people were banned and that the police were given great powers to arrest protesters and seize electronic equipment with materials that were deemed to threaten the nation’s security. The mass protests against the government, the political influence of the military and the position of the monarchy continue unabated. Attempts by authorities to silence four regime-critical media are stopped by a court in Bangkok.
New mass demonstrations
Tens of thousands of people gather at the Victory Monument in central Bangkok to demonstrate against the government, the majestic laws and the military’s political influence. They thus defy the emergency laws and risk being met by new police operations with tear gas and water cannons. Many carry portraits of arrested demonstrators. The demonstrations have been going on almost daily since last summer (see July 2020).
Exceptional laws are introduced
A column of cars with the Thai queen is met in Bangkok by thousands of protesters shouting slogans against the government, the military and the monarchy. Shortly afterwards, the authorities introduce emergency laws banning crowds of more than four participants and banning speeches on the Internet that “create fear” and “affect the security of the nation”. The protesters defy the bans and are quickly back on the streets.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Thailand in 2000 was 62,952,531, ranking number 19 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.150% yearly, and the population density was 123.2215 people per km2.