Connect with us

Yingluck Shinawatra celebrates one year in office

About a year ago very few people in Thailand new anything about Thaksin youngest sister. And when he decided to appoint her as the official candidate of his party for the soon to be general elections, most observers did not believe that she could possibly fit the job as a prime minister.

Published

on

Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra recently visited Ayutthaya

About a year ago very few people in Thailand new anything about Thaksin youngest sister. And when he decided to appoint her as the official candidate of his party for the soon to be general elections, most observers did not believe that she could possibly fit the job as a prime minister.

But it turned out that she became the first female Thailand Prime Minister elected after an overwhelming victory in the poll. Today the government of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has marked one year in office with little fanfare.

It has a clear electoral mandate and a large coalition majority in government but its policy directions have been hesitant and haphazard, destabilized and hemmed in by conservative forces arrayed against her exiled brother Thaksin Shinawatra, who ruled from 2001 to 2006 before his ouster by a military coup.

Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra recently visited Ayutthaya

Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra visiting Ayutthaya, after the flood recovery. Picture: Siam News Network

Yingluck’s immediate task ahead is to hold the ground, generate policy thrust and promote a compromise that will allow Thailand to move ahead.

After taking office a year ago on the back of a resounding majority in last year’s July elections, which returned 265 out of 500 MPs for her Pheu Thai Party, Yingluck faced the external shock of Thailand’s devastating floods for the remainder of last year.

She weathered the flood crisis through personal grit and diligence

in the face of government infighting and inter-agency conflicts.

While the floods shaved economic growth to just 0.1 per cent last year, Yingluck emerged early this year in a stronger and more confident position.

Her government began to roll out its policy promises aimed at uplifting the farm sector and urban dwellers with wage increases, rice price guarantee, debt suspension for low-income earners, tax cuts, tablet computers for first graders, among other so-called “populist” measures.

But these policies were glacial and patchy in implementation.

Yingluck was unable to personally explain and steer policy directions. Her ministers were also ineffectual in marketing and shepherding these policies. It seemed as if the Yingluck government merely wanted to recreate the populist magic her brother’s government enjoyed spectacularly a decade ago. Policy wherewithal was later stymied by Pheu Thai Party’s moves to amend the Constitution and ram through a reconciliation Bill.

These moves elicited virulent responses, from anti-Thaksin groups in the Democrat Party and appointed senators in Parliament to the yellow- and multi-color shirts in the streets and segments of civil society in the media and universities. The Constitutional Court intervened and effectively put a stop to charter change and expedient reconciliation. It can be seen as a signal from Thailand’s powers-that-be that there can be an uneasy truce around Yingluck but no compromise to bring back Thaksin.

via Thailand’s Yingluck Govt, One Year On | The Jakarta Globe.

Opinion

3 ways Asia can recover from the COVID-19 pandemic faster

Countries in the East Asia and Pacific region will benefit from cooperation in three major areas: vaccine deployment, reviving sectors of the regional economy, and building on their close integration into global value chains

Published

on

Don Mueang Bangkok domestic airport

For decades, East Asia and the Pacific region sustained rapid economic growth while lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty.

(more…)
Continue Reading

Opinion

Thailand’s Vaccine Strategy: What went wrong?

Questions are being asked, and not answered, over the decision to rely almost entirely on Siam Bioscience, a local, palace-owned company with no experience of making vaccines, for the country’s vaccine needs, until an unseemly scramble began this year to procure alternatives.

Published

on

Last year Thailand won worldwide praise for its effective measures to contain COVID-19. This year the government is facing growing public outrage over the failure to control new covid outbreaks, and the slow acquisition of vaccines.

(more…)
Continue Reading
Wise

Most Viewed

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 14,153 other subscribers

Recent