A Coup for the Rich: Thailand’s political Crisis by Giles Ji Ungpakorn

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By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

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It is the view of this author that all public officials should be elected and subjected to public scrutiny, even if this may not be the view of most Thais at present. In most standard accounts of a Constitutional Monarchy, the duty of a Constitutional Monarchy is to ensure stability and continuation of democratic government. This, the Monarchy can do, if it remains above party politics and personal conflicts, especially among those in the Executive. Mainly the Constitutional Monarchies of this World act in a ceremonial manner with very little power.

23. 62 A Coup For the Rich Thailand’s political Crisis towards an Absolute Monarchy. This stage proved to be an unstable one22, leading to the 1932 revolution and the establishment of a Constitutional Monarchy, which has now lasted longer than the Absolute Monarchy. 23 Yet the actual mass base of this party was limited to sections of the civilian and military bureaucracy. In such circumstances, the problems faced by the Peoples Party in maintaining power were not the same as the problems faced by the revolutionary capitalist class in England and France.

The mild criticism of the Thai Rak Thai government over the extra-judicial killings in the “war on drugs” or the calls for peaceful solutions in the South can be understood in this context. It is interesting to note that the King has so far been very careful to be Giles Ji Ungpakorn 65 seen to act as the Monarch of all Thais of all ethnic and religious backgrounds when it comes to the Southern unrest. 26 Yet despite the need for a modern Monarchy to stay above politics, the Palace has not always done so.

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