The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Good News In Thailand?

The news that Ms. Yingluck, as the Thai press calls its Prime Minister-elect, has formed a coalition government with the blessing of the country’s powerful military is a welcome sign of stability in a conflicted country. She will be Thailand’s first female prime minister, and her new government is poised to be sworn in on Monday.

In an important gesture, Ms. Yingluck has already pledged to support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up by a rival political party, an act that should add legitimacy and unity to the investigation of last year’s political upheaval.

Thailand has a genius for muddling through, and it’s just possible that the bitter confrontations of the last couple of years are dying down. This depends on restraint on all sides: Ms. Yingluck’s brother Thaksin, convicted of corruption and currently in exile in Dubai, has plenty of clout in the new government and might press for an amnesty, allowing him to return to Thailand a free man. That isn’t the only challenge facing Thailand’s first female prime minister.

Real trouble in Thailand would shake the balance of power in southeast Asia, potentially drawing the US and China into backing opposite sides in an internal power struggle.  Via Meadia wishes the new government all the luck in the world.

Published on July 29, 2011 12:44 pm