Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Economist: Thailand's Prospects Look Bleak

An editorial in this week's Economist says the new Thai constitution is designed to make it hard for larger parties to get a majority of seats in Thailand's parliament. (The old 1997 constitution, by contrast, had been designed to allow large parties to attain majorities so that Thailand could have strong elected governments). Of the new order, The Economist editors write:
This would suit the military-royalist elite. They could go back to running the country from behind the scenes. But there is a risk of stagnation. Thailand's economy is already growing slower than its neighours' in part because of the continuing political uncertainty. . .

The army may have doomed Thailand to further cycles of constitution, crisis, and coup. . . . The next flashpoint may not be far off. Hundreds of Mr. Thaksin's former MPs have regrouped under the banner of the People's Power Party (PPP). . . . But the generals will surely do their damnedest to thwart a Thakinite restoration.