The International Institute for Strategic Studies publishes a monthly journal called Strategic Comments. In the most recent edition (July 2007: Volume 13, Issue 5) there is an overview of Thailand’s recent political history and an analysis of possible future directions. It is titled “Thailand’s political turmoil: A solution in sight?”
The article makes many points about the draft constitution, the insurgency in southern Thailand and the future of party politics. In this brief post I will focus on just two issues that it raises: the successor to Thai Rak Thai and scenarios for the post-CNS landscape.
According to its analysis:
…the banning of the [Thai Rak Thai]’s leading lights from politics will leave a huge gap in the ranks of any successor party and it seems likely that some disqualified TRT parliamentarians might be represented by their wives or other family members. Indeed, despite the shadow of possible corruption and tax-evasion charges, Khunying Pojaman Shinawatra, Thaksin’s wife, is the leading contender to take the helm of a party to succeed the TRT.
It goes on to conclude that:
The most optimistic scenario is for a return to government by the type of unstable coalition that characterised Thai politics before the rise of Thaksin and the TRT in the late 1990s.
What do New Mandala readers think? Is Prime Minister Pojaman anything like a realistic option? Is there a more optimistic scenario than 1990s-style coalitions of the willing? Is there any other solution in sight?
Thanks to regular New Mandala contributor and strategy expert Matthew Pennycook for drawing my attention to this interesting article.