Thailand Since the Coup

Issue Date October 2008
Volume 19
Issue 4
Page Numbers 140-153
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The 2006 overthrow of Thaksin Shinawatra’s government at the hands of the Royal Thai Army signaled a major step backward for Thai democracy. The country’s 1997 Constitution—designed to promote the transparency and accountability of the political system and the stability and effectiveness of government—permitted Thaksin to convert his populist TRT party into an unstoppable political machine, one which would eventually fall victim to allegations of corruption and abuse of power. But the fundamental problem, a seemingly irreconcilable conflict between the traditional establishment—comprising the monarchy, military, and bureaucracy—and proponents of Thaksin-style populism, remains.