Thailand politics - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Thailand politics

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Rights groups, family demand answers on missing Thai activists

May 11, 2019 - 5:42 PM

A Thailand deputy prime minister denies the missing activists are in government custody

PRAYUT CHAN-O-CHA. This handout photo released and taken by Royal Thai Government on February 11, 2019 shows Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha presiding over a meeting at the Government House in Bangkok. Handout photo

Thai pro-marijuana party in high demand after disputed vote

Apr 03, 2019 - 11:33 PM

The Bhumjaithai Party is fronted by mega-wealthy Anutin Charnvirakul, an amateur pilot, son of a construction tycoon, and unlikely proponent of the medical benefits of marijuana

ANUTIN CHARNVIRAKUL. Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul speaks during an interview with Agence France-Presse in Bangkok on April 3, 2019. Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

Thai court to hear case against party behind princess political bid

Feb 14, 2019 - 10:27 PM

Party officials fear the case is being hustled through ahead of the March 24 election, which is already stacked in favor of the ruling junta, whose leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha wants to return as a civilian premier

THAI ELECTIONS. In this file photo, an official of Raksa Chart party holds the registration document bearing the photograph of Thai Princess Ubolratana prior to submitting to election commission officials in Bangkok on February 8, 2019. File photo by Krit Phromsakla Na Sakolnakorn / Thai News Pix/AFP

Thai party leader contrite after rebuke for princess' PM candidacy

Feb 12, 2019 - 11:26 PM

'Above us is His Majesty and the monarchy,' Preechaphol Pongpanit tells reporters at the party's headquarters

THAI POLITICS. Thai Raksa Chart party leader Preechaphol Pongpanit makes the traditional Thai gesture of respect while speaking to journalists on arrival at the party headquarters in Bangkok on February 12, 2019. Photo By Krit Phromsakla Na Sakolnakorn/Thai News Pix/AFP

Politicos register for Thailand's first election since 2014 coup

Feb 04, 2019 - 7:39 PM

The registration is marked by a festive atmosphere, with supporters of dozens of groups waving neon banners and party flags as they enter a stadium in central Bangkok

REGISTRATION. A supporter displays a placard of Action Coalition for Thailand party candidate Man Charoenwan, depicted as 'Superman' during registration with the election commission in Bangkok on February 4, 2019. Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

Thailand to hold first election since coup on March 24

Jan 23, 2019 - 6:01 PM

(UPDATED) The poll date is set to ignite campaign season in a country where colorful and boisterous political rallies have often tipped into deadly violence

Thailand eases 4-year-old ban on political activities

Sep 14, 2018 - 9:29 PM

Parties will now be permitted to elect their leaders, recruit new members and hold general party meetings if they are able to summon at least 250 members. However, campaigning – including holding public gatherings – is still forbidden.

Protest greets 4th year of Thai junta rule

May 22, 2018 - 2:49 PM

Disquiet with the junta is simmering in Thailand, despite a ban on political gatherings since a coup toppled the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra on May 22, 2014

4 YEARS. Demonstrators holding placards with a caricature depicting Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha as Pinocchio stand next to police barricade outside Thammasat University during a protest to mark the 4th year of junta rule in Bangkok on May 22, 2018. Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Dozens of new political parties register in run-up to Thai poll

Mar 02, 2018 - 1:43 PM

(UPDATED) 'There are 38 groups who have submitted the applications for party registration,' an election official tells Agence France-Presse

THAI POLL. Members of the Ruam Jai Thai Party wait to submit paperwork for the registration of their political party at the Office of the Election Commission of Thailand in Bangkok on March 2, 2018. Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, October 26, 2017

Oct 26, 2017 - 11:15 AM

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Thursday.

Thais bid final goodbye to beloved King Bhumibol

Oct 26, 2017 - 7:06 AM

(UPDATED) The lavish funeral will give the public a chance to bid an emotional farewell to a king who was crowned in 1950 and soared over decades of Thai history

REVERED. A woman holds an image of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej with his mother as mourners gather to wait for his funeral to begin in Bangkok on October 25, 2017. Lilian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Making of a monarch: Thais set to part with the 'people's king'

Oct 24, 2017 - 10:48 AM

The late King Bhumibol Adulaydej is remembered as regal but accessible, rich but unflashy and always dedicated to the Thai people

IN MOURNING. People display images of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej during a ceremony marking one year since his death, in a field in Ayutthaya on October 13, 2017. Roberto Schmidt/AFP

Thai ex-PM Yingluck has fled Thailand – party source

Aug 25, 2017 - 8:13 AM

4th UPDATE A senior party source says Yingluck Shinawatra is likely in Singapore

VERDICT LOOMS. Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra greets her supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court in Bangkok on July 21, 2017. File photo by Lilian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Thai junta chief accepts Trump invite

May 01, 2017 - 1:54 PM

The offer came as part of a flurry of calls Trump made to Southeast Asian leaders over the weekend trying to shore up regional support over the troubled Korean peninsula

In this file photo, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha attends the 30th ASEAN Summit, April 29, 2017. Malacanang photo

Generals dominate new Thai king's Privy Council

Dec 06, 2016 - 3:33 PM

UPDATED The move illustrates the close military royal alliance that has defined Thai politics for the last 5 decades

A woman holds an image of Thailand's new King Maha Vajiralongkorn outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok on December 2, 2016. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Black is back as Thais mourn revered king

Oct 16, 2016 - 12:18 PM

Thailand is a country that leans heavily on symbols and people have long expressed devotion to the king through clothing

MOURNING. People wait in line to pay their respects to Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Grand Palace in Bangkok on October 14, 2016. Munir Uz Zaman/AFP

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej dies

Oct 13, 2016 - 7:58 PM

UPDATED Thailand s revered monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej dies ending one of modern history s longest reigns ever

LONGEST-SERVING MONARCH. This file picture released by the Thai Royal Bureau taken on December 5, 2007 shows Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej waving to the crowds during his 80th birthday celebrations at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Thai Royal Bureau/ Handout / AFP

Anti-junta 'Red shirts' charged as Thai vote looms

Aug 02, 2016 - 4:01 PM

Thais will decide August 7 whether to accept a new military drafted constitution in the first vote since the generals toppled the elected government in 2014

Leaders of Thailand's pro-democracy 'Red Shirt' movement arrive at the Crime Suppression Division in order to report to police in Bangkok on August 2, 2016. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Ailing Thai king marks 70 years since accession to throne

Jun 09, 2016 - 12:03 PM

The 88 year old king is the world s longest serving monarch and is seen as a unifying force in a nation bitterly divided along political lines

WELL-WISHERS. Women pose for cameras whilst holding images of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej during the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of his reign in Bangkok on June 9, 2016. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Defiant Thai leader rebukes 'haters' with vow to stay in power

Jun 01, 2016 - 3:20 PM

Prayut Chan O Cha: I won t go anywhere as long as the country is not at peace and in order I won t leave despite how much you hate me

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in Bangkok on November 2,2015. Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP

Largest anti-coup rally as Thais mark two years of army takeover

May 22, 2016 - 10:22 PM

Activists young and old gathered peacefully at Bangkok s Democracy Monument as discontent with the junta resurfaces after two years of relative quiet enforced by the army

Anti-junta demonstrators protest against military rule on the second anniversary of Thailand's latest military coup in Bangkok on May 22, 2016. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Former Thai PM Banharn Silpa-archa dies at 83

Apr 23, 2016 - 11:53 AM

Banharn Silpa archa passed away peacefully according to Siriraj hospital where the former prime minister was admitted with asthma

'PASSED AWAY PEACEFULLY'. In this file photo, Chart Thai Party leader Banharn Silpa-archa, shows his number 13, for proportional representation vote after candidate registration for general election at Thai-Japan Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, November 7, 2007. File photo by Narong Sangnak/EPA

Toppled Thai party meets for Thaksin Skype address

Apr 07, 2016 - 7:15 PM

Applause erupted among the Puea Thai Party faithful as the 67 year old cop turned telecoms magnate appeared on a sketchy Skype link from an undisclosed country

Deposed former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra answers a question during an interview in New York, on March 9, 2016. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD

Thai PM orders security increase after attacks in deep south

Mar 14, 2016 - 2:38 PM

The order comes after a particularly fraught night of skirmishes with militants launching several small scale but coordinated attacks on authorities throughout Sunday evening March 13

This picture taken on March 13, 2016 shows a volunteer securing the area after suspected separatist militants ambushed the offices of the Cho Ai Rong district in Thailand's restive southern province of Narathiwat. Madaree Tohlala/AFP

Ex-PM Thaksin fears Thai junta will cling to power

Mar 10, 2016 - 3:20 PM

The telecoms tycoon says he wished he could go home but would consider a return only if it would benefit the country and the people

Deposed former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra answers a question during an interview in New York, on March 9, 2016. Jewel Samad/AFP

Thai junta announces fresh 'influential people' purge

Mar 09, 2016 - 3:42 PM

The blacklisted which include government and security officials are suspected of aiding a variety of crime syndicates

A man waves a giant national flag at Democracy Monument in Bangkok on May 23, 2014. Christophe Archambault/AFP

Thailand says 100 held in trafficking blitz on seafood industry

Feb 01, 2016 - 9:30 PM

The EU hit Thailand with a yellow card warning last April threatening to ban all seafood exports unless the military government tackled rampant illegal fishing and labor abuses among its fleets

Migrant fishermen from Myanmar and Cambodia on a Thai fishing boat after unloading fish at a jetty in Samut Sakhon province, Thailand, January 19, 2016. Rungroj Yongrit/EPA

Thai junta accused of arbitrary detention of student

Jan 21, 2016 - 3:18 PM

Widely circulated security camera footage appears to show three uniformed soldiers grab Sirawitch Sereethiwat on a busy street outside his university on Wednesday evening January 20

Singapore urges ASEAN to act on haze

Oct 25, 2015 - 4:03 PM

ASEAN must take firm and decisive action through enhanced regional cooperation to help prevent the recurrence of this transboundary problem

SUFFOCATING HAZE. Haze suffocates parts of Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. ABDUL QODIR / AFP

Charter backed by Thai junta is rejected

Sep 06, 2015 - 1:26 PM

UPDATED The move will likely extend the military s time in power and delay elections

REJECTED PROPOSAL. Members of the Thai National Reform Council (NRC) meet to vote for the draft of the new constitution at Parliament in Bangkok on September 6, 2015. Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP

Thai students to be released from jail but sedition charges upheld

Jul 07, 2015 - 2:49 PM

The activists – university students in their 20s including one woman – have been in custody since late June

'FREE THEM' Supporters hold pictures of detained students as they take part in a protest in their support outside the cordoned-off military court where they appeared, in Bangkok on July 7, 2015.  Christophe Archambault/AFP

Senior Thai palace official arrested for lese majeste

Jun 11, 2015 - 3:22 PM

Montri Sotangkul is the latest ally of the disgraced Princess Srirasmi to be arrested in a rare public airing of palace intrigue

ARRESTED. Thai national police chief Somyot Poompanmoung (R) sits next to Montri Sotangkul (C), 53, who was a member of the household staff of Princess Srirasmi, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn's former wife, during his arrest at the police headquarters in Bangkok on June 11, 2015. Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

Thai police seek royal official on lese majeste charges

Jun 10, 2015 - 4:30 PM

Montri Sotangkul is accused of defaming the monarchy by improperly using his royal connections to make financial gains police say

In this file photo, Thai Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn (L) talks to royal consort Princess Srirasmi (R) during the Royal Ploughing Ceremony at Sanam Luang near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, 13 May 2013. Rungroj Yongrit/EPA

Thai junta orders cancellation of human rights event

Jun 04, 2015 - 7:03 PM

Thailand s military rulers ban a panel discussion exploring rights abuses alleged to have taken place during the junta s one year rule

This picture taken on May 21, 2014 shows microphones of reporters working for TV stations sitting on a table ahead of a press conference by an Army spokesman. Manan Vatsyayana/AFP

Thai ex-PM Thaksin under investigation for lese majeste

May 28, 2015 - 10:27 AM

Last week Thaksin made rare comments to overseas media as the Thai military marked a year in power although it was not immediately clear which interview he faces censure for

TARGETED? In this file photo, former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra waves to his supporters during his visit for Buddhist rite ceremony at Pha That Luang Stupa in Vientiane, Laos, 12 April 2012. Stringer/EPA

Thai elections pushed back to September 2016 – junta

May 27, 2015 - 2:25 PM

There had been confusion in recent weeks over when an election might be held after the junta appointed committee tasked with drawing up the new constitution said the document should be approved in a referendum

CENTER OF POWER. A general view of the Thai Parliament, at Parliament House in Bangkok, Thailand, January 16, 2015. Narong Sangnak/EPA

Ousted Thai PM proclaims innocence as criminal trial starts

May 19, 2015 - 12:09 PM

A guilty conviction could deliver a hammer blow to the political dominance of her family but it also risks stirring up their grassroots Red Shirt supporters

ON TRIAL. Coup ousted Thai former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra (C) greets well-wishers and supporters as she arrives at the Supreme Court to face charges of corruption over a rice subsidy plan, in Bangkok, Thailand, 19 May 2015. Wallace Woon/EPA

Thai king leaves Bangkok hospital for coastal palace

May 11, 2015 - 9:41 AM

Hundreds of Thais many dressed in the royal color yellow wave flags and hold up photos of Bhumibol as some cheer Long Live the King

Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej sits in his car as he leaves the Siriraj hospital in Bangkok on his way to his coastal palace in the southern city of Hua Hin on May 10, 2015. Christophe Archambault/AFP

Ailing Thai king makes rare public appearance

May 05, 2015 - 1:58 PM

The palace visit is made on Coronation Day a Thai public holiday that marks Bhumibol s official coronation in 1950

Thai well-wishers hold portraits of King Bhumibol Adulyadej as they gather at Siriraj Hospital where the king has spent most of the last few months, on the occasion of his 87th birthday in Bangkok on December 5, 2014. Christophe Archambault/AFP

Indonesia, Thailand, agree to work together on illegal fishing

Apr 23, 2015 - 3:49 PM

Thai companies have been linked to shadowy fishing operations in Indonesia a bountiful hunting ground for a blackmarket industry that costs Jakarta an estimated 20 billion in losses every year

Fishing laborers unload fish from fishing boats at a fishing port in Phuket, southern Thailand, April 22, 2015. Yongyot Pruksarak/EPA

Thai junta lifts martial law but retains key powers

Apr 01, 2015 - 11:17 PM

UPDATED Special security measures – including a ban on political gatherings of more than 5 people – will continue to blanket the kingdom

PRAYUT CHAN-O-CHA. In this file photo, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (R) listens to the explanation of Pagoda officials at the Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar, 10 October 2014. File photo by Nyein Chan Naing/EPA

Thai former PM Yingluck to face trial over rice scheme – court

Mar 19, 2015 - 12:43 PM

The decision is the latest legal move against Yingluck that could spell the end of her family s political dominance

In this file photo, ousted Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra looks on as she faces impeachment proceedings by the military-stacked National Legislative Assembly (NLA) at the parliament in Bangkok on January 22, 2015. Photo by Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP

Thai police detain 3 demonstrators in Bangkok

Feb 22, 2015 - 9:37 PM

The demonstrators were calling for a public forum with the junta appointed government to brainstorm ideas with people across the country

UNREST. A Thai demonstrator shouting slogans holds a sign in support of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra during a protest against the military coup in Bangkok, Thailand, 24 May 2014. Photo by Diego Azubel/EPA

Thai ex-PM Yingluck indicted over rice subsidy scheme

Feb 19, 2015 - 1:35 PM

Thailand s junta stacked government is also considering launching a civil suit against the nation s first female prime minister

TRAVEL BAN. Ousted Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra looks on as she faces impeachment proceedings by the military-stacked National Legislative Assembly (NLA) at the parliament in Bangkok on January 22, 2015. Photo by Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP

Thai Red Shirt leader accuses junta of looking for a 'fight'

Feb 05, 2015 - 3:27 PM

I don t believe that you junta want reconciliation instead you want chaos and want us to go out and fight

Thai junta steps up security after Bangkok pipe bombs

Feb 02, 2015 - 2:05 PM

Authorities decline to speculate whether the small bombs – which caused minor injuries to two passers by when they exploded near the downtown Paragon mall on Sunday evening February 1 – are linked to the nation s turbulent politics

CRIME SCENE. Thai bomb squad experts and forensic police inspect the site of two bomb blast near the entrance to a luxury shopping mall in central Bangkok, Thailand, 02 February 2015. Narong Sangnak/EPA

Impeachment calls crescendo as D-Day nears for Yingluck

Jan 16, 2015 - 4:18 PM

Yingluck Shinawatra faces impeachment by the military appointed National Legislative Assembly over her administration s loss making rice program

YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA. Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrives to give her statement during impeachment proceedings against her, at Parliament House in Bangkok, Thailand, 09 January 2015. Narong Sangnak/EPA

Thai smuggling ring tied to prince?

Dec 23, 2014 - 6:59 PM

Suspects arrested in massive crackdown were actually delivering a river of money to Vajiralongkorn sources say

In this file photo, Thai Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn (L) talks to royal consort Princess Srirasmi (R) during the Royal Ploughing Ceremony at Sanam Luang near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, 13 May 2013. Rungroj Yongrit/EPA

Ailing Thai king cancels appearance for 87th birthday

Dec 05, 2014 - 12:19 PM

Most Thais have only known King Bhumibol on the throne and anxiety over the future once his 6 decade reign ends is seen as an aggravating factor in Thailand s bitter political divide

In this file photo, a well-wisher holds a large medal carrying a portrait of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej as people wait for him to drive by in a motorcade as he leaves the Siriraj hospital in Bangkok on September 15, 2014. Christophe Archambault/AFP

Family of Thai princess stripped of title

Dec 01, 2014 - 6:04 PM

The family of the wife of Thailand s Crown Prince have been stripped of an honorific title police confirm

In this file photo, Thai Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn (L) talks to royal consort Princess Srirasmi (R) during the Royal Ploughing Ceremony at Sanam Luang near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, 13 May 2013. Rungroj Yongrit/EPA