Three years under the junta - Thailand is on the road to becoming an authoritarian state

22/05/2017
Our Movement

On 22 May 2014, Thailand’s junta, the ‘National Council for Peace and Order’ (NCPO) seized power from the elected government. They claimed that such an unconstitutional act was necessary as the nation was deeply divided and was in need of immediate reform to restore peace, harmony, and stability. However, data documentation by iLaw shows that the reforms carried out by the NCPO over the past three years under military rule did not bring the country any closer to democracy.

During the last three years, the junta enforced a number of announcements and orders (equal to laws) to broaden the role of civil servants, while limiting the participation of the local population in public policy. Civil participation through elections, both local and national, was suspended and replaced by the junta’s selection of lawmakers. Direct participation in public affairs through public assembly was outlawed, while at the same time the military also extended its influence to the judiciary to ensure that acts of dissent were properly controlled under laws it had arbitrarily enacted. The new Constitution that passed as a result of the strictly controlled referendum in August 2016 installs a new mechanism for the military regime to stay in power for at least another 20 years.

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