Thailand. Since the parliament adopted in February a
couple of constitutional amendments on changed rules for the
distribution of seats in elections, Prime Minister Abhisit
Vejjajiva promised to announce new elections until later
this year, provided no new unrest erupted.
After a tumultuous 2010 "red shirts", supporters of the
deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, gathered once a
month in Bangkok to demonstrate against the government. The
meetings gathered at least 30,000 people each time but in
Countryaah official site, Pheu Thai (For the Thais), the latest in the line of
Thaks-entrapped parties, nominated his younger sister,
Yingluck Shinawatra, in May for his nomination for the prime
ministerial post ahead of the upcoming election, which is
announced until July 3. Shortly before the election, Army
Chief General Prayut Chan-O-Cha appeared in state television
and urged the Thais to vote "right". If they voted as they
usually "the result would only be the same", the general
said in an obvious threat of a military intervention if the
"wrong" party won.
But the election resulted in a grand victory for Pheu
Thai, which received 265 of the 500 seats. The military
accepted the result, but in order to reduce the risk of
criticism, the new prime minister formed a coalition with
four small parties. The government was now supported by a
total of 299 members. On August 8, Yingluck Shinawatra, a
44-year-old businesswoman with no prior political
experience, was able to take office after the king had
approved the will of the people. Several leaders for the red
shirts were elected to Parliament on Pheu Thai's lists but
none of them were included in the government. Army commander
Prayut had to keep his post. The new head of government
obviously did not want to challenge the establishment.
The government was put to the test in the autumn when
extreme floods hit the country for several months. Through
dams and diversions of the water bodies, the central parts
of Bangkok managed reasonably well, but over 500 people
perished around the country and great material values were
wasted in the country's worst floods in at least 50 years.
All forecasts for economic growth and production had to be
written down sharply.
In southern Thailand, the separatist violence intensified
with a large number of explosive attacks and fire attacks.
The state of emergency in most of the three southernmost,
Muslim-dominated provinces was extended by three months at a
time throughout the year.
Also, at the border with Cambodia, strife flared up,
first in February and then in April-May, in a contentious
area around the Preah Vihear temple. At least 18 soldiers
were killed and 85,000 civilians fled. The International
Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, which already granted
Cambodia the right to the temple in 1962, ordered both sides
to withdraw their allies in July, but not until the end of
December did the countries agree to set up a working group
to prepare a mutual retreat under Indonesian law