Thai Elections 2011: Thaksin won't win!


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Economic and political outlook for Thailand; presented on 5/19/2011 at Fuh Hwa Securities Trust (Taipei, Taiwan) --by Emma Tzeng

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Thai Elections 2011: Thaksin won't win!

  1. 1. Emma 5/19/11 Thai Elections 2011 泰國選舉 Thaksin won’t win!
  2. 2. Current positive market sentiment supports a definitive electoral victory for the current Democrat/Bhumjaithai coalition government; based on this prediction, economic repercussions are minimal Conclusion If results match expectations, the upcoming election should promote future political stability and we can expect little change in overall market outlook. We can expect to see higher purchasing power as a result of positive implications from populist policies and an estimated Bt30bn cash circulation throughout the nation during each general election. We can also expect gains in the Media sector in the wake of higher purchasing power. In the long term… … in the short term
  3. 3. Since 1932, Thailand has been run under a constitutional monarchy with a Prime Minister as the head of government and a monarch as the head of state, as well as judiciary, executive, and legislative branches Background Thailand me State Powers Government King Adulyadej <ul><li>Royal Thai Armed Forces </li></ul><ul><li>Royal Thai Army </li></ul><ul><li>Royal Thai Navy </li></ul><ul><li>Royal Thai Air Force </li></ul>PM Abhisit Vejjajiva Cabinet of Ministers <ul><li>National Assembly </li></ul><ul><li>Senate </li></ul><ul><li>House of Representatives * </li></ul>Executive Legislative Judicial * new group to be formed in upcoming elections! <ul><li>Courts of Justice </li></ul><ul><li>Administrative Courts </li></ul><ul><li>Constitutional Court </li></ul>
  4. 4. Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra ruled Thailand until he was ousted in a coup in 2006 by the Royal Army with support from the monarchist Yellow Shirts; Democrat leader Abhisit replaced him in 2008 as Thaksin’s supporters, collectively called the Red Shirts, broke out in a violent protest History I rule Thailand! Get out, Thaksin! OK  Royal Army And I’ve been in power ever since! * from 2006-2008, Thailand was governed by various interim civiliation governments and PPP party leaders until being ousted again Meanwhile… vs. Red Shirts, loyal to Thaksin Yellow Shirts, loyal to monarchy 2001-2006 Thaksin reigns 2006 * Thaksin ousted from office 2008 Abhisit assumes power
  5. 5. General Elections In an effort to appease political tension, PM Abhisit has called for a dissolution of the House of Representatives and received permission from the king to hold new elections on July 3 Newly-amended constitution increased the number of House seats from 480 to 500 for the upcoming term Formed in 2009 The majority party needs more than 250 out of 500 seats to set up a single-party government
  6. 6. In the wake of elections, the Pheu Thai Party campaigns against the Democrat Party and its allies for increased representation in parliament as the royalist Yellow Shirts stage a boycott in protest against perceived governmental “corruption” Political Divide Pheu Thai Thaksin for the win! New Politics Party No! No! We won’t vote! Let’s keep things the way they are. ELECTIONS Bhumjaithai (Thai Pride Party) Yingluck Shinawatra, PM candidate (and Thaksin’s sister!) <ul><li>Also known as People’s Alliance Against Democracy (PAD) </li></ul><ul><li>Staged a series of protests in 2006 aimed at ousting Thaksin from power </li></ul><ul><li>Launched “no-vote” campaign to inspire political reform </li></ul><ul><li>Recently split from the Democrat party </li></ul><ul><li>Many still indignant over Thaksin’s removal from power and long for his return </li></ul><ul><li>Little support from swing parties, middle- to upper- classes, and military </li></ul><ul><li>Most support from rural and lower-income populations </li></ul><ul><li>Perceived by some to be in violation of the lèse majesté law (see Appendix 5) </li></ul>Coalition Government Opposition <ul><li>Currently enjoys the most government representation </li></ul><ul><li>On good terms with the military (more stable) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Opposition Party A bear case would be a win for the Puea Thai Party, which could prompt further political unrest and even violence and threaten markets and investor confidence, though this outcome doesn’t seem likely The worst case scenario would be an overwhelming Red Shirt victory, resulting in a Puea Thai Party-led coalition government that could likely restore Thaksin to power, stir political instability and end in another military coup. This, however, seems highly unlikely . Why? <ul><li>Lack of support: Even if the Democrat party doesn’t win an outright majority (which is expected), most swing parties will most likely join with them to form the new coalition government. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of strong leadership: Over the past several months, the Red Shirt leadership has become scattered due to internal conflicts among leaders and numerous arrests of key party members. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of strong political differentiation: Puea Thai’s populist policies differ very little from the Democrats’ recent and proposed policies (see Appendix 1-3) . In this sense, the only quality that essentially sets Puea Thai apart is its fervent devotion to Thaksin. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Pre-electoral polls National pre-electoral polls indicate a majority of undecided voters (53%) and near-equal amounts of support for Pheu Thai (23%) and Democrats (20%), but we can assume that if swing voters haven’t already pledged their allegiance to Pheu Thai, they could easily choose the Democrat Party out of a desire for political and regional stability Survey conducted on May 2-3, 2011 1,203 citizens were polled Suan Dusit Poll Conducted on May 4-7, 2011 1,629 citizens were polled 39.17% expressed concern about political violence and wanted politicians to think about national interests first and foremost before their own vested interests
  9. 9. Appendix
  10. 10. Democrat vs Puea Thai policies: Economics/Mega projects Appendix 1
  11. 11. Democrat vs Puea Thai policies: Social/Political Appendix 2 Democrat Puea Thai
  12. 12. Democrat vs Puea Thai policies: Cost of Living Appendix 3 Democrat Puea Thai
  13. 13. House of Representatives Appendix 4 The House is a partisan chamber with 7 political parties. The House is the primary legislative chamber and the more powerful of the two houses. The House has the power to remove both the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers through a vote of no confidence. The House sits for a term of four years; however, a dissolution of the House can happen anytime before the expiration of the term. The House is led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is also the President of the National Assembly. He is assisted by two Deputy Speakers. The leader of the largest party or largest coalition party will most likely become Prime Minister, while the leader of the largest party with no members holding any ministerial positions will become the Leader of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition is a powerful position with considerable influence, he is assisted by a Shadow Cabinet. The last general election for the House was in 2007.
  14. 14. Q: What is Lèse majesté ? Appendix 5 A: Crime of violating majesty; an offense against the dignity of a reigning sovereign or against a state. It literally translates into “injured king.” The lèse majesté law is enforced in Thailand. More specifically, Article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code states that “whoever defames, insults, or threatens the King, Queen, or Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.” Some speculators believe that the Red Shirts--namely, Thaksin--are guilty of violating this law. In fact, the 2006 coup that ousted Thaksin from power was carried out in the name of lèse majesté.
  15. 15. Royal Thai Armed Forces Appendix 6 The Royal Thai Armed Forces is the military of the Kingdom of Thailand. Comprised of about 858,000 personnel, the Armed Forces’ nominal leader is King Abdulyadej. However, it is managed by the Ministry of Defense of Thailand, which is headed by the Minister of Defense, which is a Cabinet member and commanded by the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters, which is headed by the Chief of Defense Forces in Thailand. The Armed Forces’ main role is to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Thailand. They also ensure public order and participate in social development programs by aiding the civilian government.
  16. 16. Election Timeline Appendix 7