Sign up | Log in



Home  >>  Daily News  >>  ASEAN ANALYSIS


Asean Affairs   16 June  2011

Will Thailand have a leadership debate?

By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     16 June 2011

Related Stories

June 15,2011
Asean bourses

June 14,2011
Sea dispute creating ripples

June 13,2011
Myanmar again disgraces Asean

June 12,2011

June 10,2011
AEC’s arrival already impacting members

June 9,2011
The road to the AEC has some bumps

June 8,2011
Oil and food hit global economy

June 7,2011
Philippines finds success in outsourcing

Tomorrow, June 17, is the deadline for Yingluck Shinawatra, the Pheu Thai party’s prime ministerial candidate , to respond to an invitation from the People's Network for Elections in Thailand (Pnet) to participate in election debates.

The first debate involves the leaders of six political parties on June 23 and a debate the next evening, June 24, would be with current prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, Ms. Yingluck’s main opponent.

Mr. Abhisit will participate in both debates while Ms. Yingluck remains noncommittal.

When queried by reporters about her participation in the debates, Ms. Yingluck, is not forthright. She mentions her schedule and alludes to her personal appearances having precedence over the nationally televised debates. However, all the Thai political candidates have schedules and personal appearances to make throughout Thailand during this six-week campaign period. Is it not both economic and democratic to appear before the whole country on television for one evening?

Three factors are in play here. First, she has had no political experience and many question her abilities to handle the role of being a prime minister. Her experience deficiencies in public matters could be exposed in a debate. Second, Mr. Abhisit is known to be a skilled debater and most Thai observers expect that he would easily show up any opponent in a debate.

Third, although Thai public opinion polls are not highly accurate, there is a general consensus emerging, even in some foreign media, that Ms. Yingluck and the Pheu Thai party have pulled ahead of her opposition. From her perspective, a debate appearance could only be a lose-lose situation.

A no-show on her part, could provide opponents substantial grist to substantiate the view that she is a mere puppet for her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who lives in Dubai to avoid a two-year jail sentence in Thailand. He was convicted on corruption charges.

In all of the opinion polls that have been publicized, however, a substantial number of voters remain uncommitted. The most recent poll showed 44 percent undecided. Ms. Yingluck’s refusal to participate in the debate for the whole country to see, might weigh in favor of Mr. Abhisit.

For Mr. Abhisit, her non-appearance could be an opportunity for an empty-chair debate on June 24. This is a familiar tactic in debates when one of the two debaters bails out. What political impact this would have one can’t predict.

Thai politics is usually lively and spirited. The current election, whatever the result, could certainly rank as the most unusual.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

Reach Southeast Asia!
10- Nations, 560- Million Consumers
And $1 -Trillion Market
We are the Voice of Southeast Asia Media Kit
The only Media Dedicated to Southeast Asia Advertising Rates for Magazine
  Online Ad Rates

Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below




1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Today's  Stories    16  June  2011 Subsribe Now !
• Chinese investment in Cambodia Subcribe: Asean Affairs Global Magazine
• Cambodians and Thai restore pagoda Asean Affairs Premium
• Terror alert as Bashir verdict under way in Jakarta
Research Reports
on Thailand 2007-2008

•Textiles and Garments Industry

•Coffee industry

•Leather and footwear industry

•Shrimp industry

• Indonesian geothermal advances
• Philippines credit rating raised
• Thais switch from oil to gas
• Thai foreign ownership rules again in spotlight
• Vietnam imports first Indonesian coal p

Asean Analysis    16  June  2011

Advertise Your Brand
• Will Thailand have a leadership debate? Sponsor Our Events

Asean Stock Watch    16  June  2011 

• Asean Stock Watch-June 16 p

ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent

• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore
• Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline
• Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan


This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

Our Products | Work with us | Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Shipping/Delivery Policy | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2007-2015 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand