Former Thai education minister arrested by army

Chaturon Chaisang, a former education minister who was hiding until recently was arrested by the military while he was being interviewed by foreign reporters.

"I just want to warn General Prayuth that harsh measures will not help,” says Chaisang. “To be biased against one side of people, is not going to help. And if you really want to resolve the problems of the country, don’t be oppressive. Allow people to participate in the process."

In his address yesterday, the army chief said “everyone was suffering” as a result of the past six months of political uncertainty, and that it is time to “restore political and social stability, as well as confidence.”

"The market has been quite resilient,” Stock Exchange of Thailand President Charamporn Jotikasthira said today in a Bloomberg interview. “What happened in the past several months, we were in a political deadlock and as a result we were not able to move the economic engine properly. So we just have to reset the system and get back to normal as soon as possible.”

Resilient indeed. The SET gained 0.3% overnight and has largely held its YTD gains since the coup. THD +6.3% YTD

Comments (2)
  • John Overstreet
    , contributor
    Comments (623) | Send Message
    I think that when the system finally reboots, Charamporn will not like what he sees. The coupsters had all the time in the world to prepare, and they did a good job of eliminating the government, but they already look incompetent. See Gen Prayuth's press conference when he was asked basic questions by the Bangkok Post's military affairs reporter about how long the coup might last and whether or not he was now PM. The general stormed out in a huff, and the next day, the reporter was called in to have it explained to her that she was making him look bad in front of his men. Meanwhile, the red shirts are gearing up.


    Never mind that the succession is going to roil Thailand in the next few weeks, months, or years.


    Teflon Thailand can't last forever.
    27 May 2014, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • Philip Marlowe
    , contributor
    Comments (1583) | Send Message
    For some reason markets tend to like right wing dictatorships. They are mistaken. A dictatorship that goes against the desires of a major part of the population will usually result in continuing conflict and economic decay. Furthermore, if the dictatorship does not have popular support, there is a lot of corruption and capital flight as the financial leaders in the country are always in fear of a revolution, and always eager to stash their assets offshore.


    In the case of Thailand it is clear that the people do not support the military and their party as they keep electing their opponents in any free elections. So, unfortunately I do not see a bright future for Thailand in the near term.


    Soft dictatorships, where the ruling class pays careful attention to popular opinion and ensures it is popular tend to do better. China is an example of the latter.
    27 May 2014, 01:49 PM Reply Like
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