pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #50 – Democracy Returns to Thailand?

Thailand’s December 23 elections will choose 480 members of the House of Representatives, 400 from constituencies and 80 selected on a proportional basis from party lists.  The elections will begin a new chapter in Thai politics, though the story line might seem familiar. Gone is former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, deposed by a military coup in September 2006, but his shadow looms over the elections. Gone also is his Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party which dominated the Thai parliament after dramatic election victories in 2001 and 2005, although elements of the party have been reassembled under a new name.  The constitutional court found TRT guilty of election fraud, ordered TRT to dissolve, and banned 111 senior party executives from electoral politics for five years.