Business in Thailand: Another fine mess

RARELY does a supposedly democratic country find itself in such a mess. Consider the following: at the time of writing Thailand has only a “caretaker” government, the real thing having resigned last week to allow for an election; the official opposition party has resigned from parliament en masse, and is yet to decide whether to take any further part in the democratic process; the leader of the opposition, Abhisit Vejjajiva, has just been indicted on a murder charge for ordering a crackdown on street protesters in 2010; his former colleague and deputy prime minister, Suthep Thaugsuban, had been charged with various other offences such as rebellion, arising from the fact that he is currently leading a revolution in the streets to try to topple the aforesaid (elected) government that has already resigned; and a former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, living in self-imposed exile, faces a two-year jail term on charges of abuse of power and corruption, should he return to Thailand. Oh, and Mr Suthep faces murder charges too, the same as Mr Abhisit’s, from 2010.Bad as it is, this litany of dysfunction is no longer very new. It all arises from the sometimes deadly conflict waged between Mr Thaksin and his opponents, since a time before he was deposed by military coup in 2006. It is depressing to see Thailand’s politicians become so obsessed by the supposed failings and …

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