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Thai Coup
Thai Military Settles in for the Long Haul

The Thai military is solidifying its hold on power, and plans to control government through most of 2015. The BBC reports:

Thai military leader and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has named a cabinet featuring serving or former generals in more than one-third of positions.

The military veterans will run key ministries including defence, justice, foreign affairs and commerce.

On Monday Gen Prayuth was officially appointed prime minister following endorsement by the king. […]

He was nominated for the post of prime minister earlier this month by a legislature hand-picked by the junta. He was the only candidate.

Here is the unstated but probable backstory: Given the advanced age and precarious health of thailand’s revered king, the military intends to stay in power long enough to control all aspects of any change at the top.

It is likely that many people who don’t particularly like military government are willing to put up with this; the prospect of a change in the monarchy at a time of political stalemate and prolonged crisis is deeply unsettling to many Thais.

However, all this postpones rather than avoids a struggle between traditional elites, the urban middle class, and the rural and urban poor over the future of a country where the economy and society are changing rapidly, but where traditional power brokers are determined to hold on.

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  • Andrew Allison

    Nice capsule summary of what’s going on. Some thoughts on the likely outcome of the battle for control between the elites and the rest would be of interest.

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