mandag 11. februar 2019

A Military Dictatorship Like No Other

When last Friday Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Varnavadi, a sister of the king of Thailand, applied to be a candidate for prime minister in upcoming elections, she threw an already intricate political scene for a loop. Ms. Ubolratana would run for Thai Raksa Chat, one of two parties affiliated with Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, both former prime ministers who were democratically elected and then deposed in military coups, he in 2006 and she in 2014.

With that, Ms. Ubolratana seemed to directly take on Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former general who heads the junta that staged the 2014 coup, and himself a candidate for prime minister on the ticket of the pro-military Phalang Pracharath Party. Mr. Prayuth, who seized power vowing to “worship and protect the monarchy,” has fended off a return of the Shinawatras — who remain popular, especially among the rural poor, despite convictions for corruption.