This
paper seeks to expose the possible reasons behind the occurrences of military
junta in the Kingdom of Thailand, a Southeast Asia country border as our
neighbour to the west end. The paper is likely to go through the factors of
intervention in political system by junta which led to an unbreakable boundary
for Thailand toward democratization for the past 8 decades since 1932s. Factors
will demonstrate in parts as well as accurately analyse each part to the extent
of the involvements. Main focusing part of the whole incident will be pinned
out by years to deepen the root causes more specific. Last but not least, the
paper, then, concludes the whole points pattern with combination of our group
perception toward the incident.

In
the past eight decades, Thailand, a wonderful land of Southeast Asia wasn’t
having a good one in term of political system. So far, Thailand has experienced
over 10 coups since the establishment of constitutional monarchy in 1932. The
military of Thai had defined itself as the powerful organization and the best
choice of institute in term of the protectorate of Thailand politic status. The
high level of influence inside the back door of Thai politic between men in
uniform and the civilian government can be defined as mitigation to the
cohesion of democratization in the country. The fact that they imposed coups
under a mind of ‘back-bone of the country’ also might, at least, not as grip of
badness to Thailand as we think. Under the concept of power-driven actor in the
politic, sometime, their actions toward the coup considered as a non-violence
with aims to decrease or even demolish social discontent in country.

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            The real things need to consider here might be applied in
many questions. Thailand’s professional status in the politic intervention
raises itself unanswerable questions already. How can they manage to
consolidate democratic vibe inside Thailand with those spontaneous coups
against civilian government? If it’s for peace and privileged of Thais, does
military junta is the only answer toward political crisis?

            Military’s role in stabilize chaos in country,
temporarily taken over the role of civilian government in response to
inadequate performance of government can be seen in the 2006 coup. The
overthrown of Thaksin Shinawatra, the 23th prime minister of Thailand, was
because of the corruption found in his prior period (BBC.com, 2011). The absence in declaration of
his wealth was announced by Thailand’s Corruption Commission. The
reformation of Thailand’s constitution in 1997 seemed to be a peak of civilian
government dominance. Thaksin, the successful businessman found his political
party, Thai Rak Thai (Thai love Thai) in 1998. Thaksin was fated to be on the
throne. His success can be explained by the policies he had established to deal
with a remarkable downfall Thai’s economic in the late 1990s. In the same way,
it should be recalled that TRT’s success was because of enormous public
dissatisfaction toward the ruling government. The government’s attempt of
dealing with the economic recession was remarked as a bad performance (Narisa
Laplamwanit, 1999). The businessman turned politician claimed his plan for a
restoration and people believed TRT’s policies were the only choice to stoke
growth and rebuild the economy. He swept in the Thai’s office in 2001 and
eventually became the first ever Thai’s full term prime minister in elected
government. Thaksin’s success was built largely on populist policies directed
in rural communities who long felt they had been look down upon by elites. An
example of the price of 30 baht per patient which is less than a dollar in USD,
was strongly supported from Thai’s citizen, especially those from rural groups.
The Bangkok’s elites, those who are in upper-class felt that Thaksin’s policies
are ridiculous and also the ways he treated Thai’s lower class bruised their
egos. While Thaksin was out of the country, pre-planned coup took action by
sending troops, tanks to Bangkok. In addition, General Sondhi Boonyaratglin, the coup leader in 2006 did
not impose strong force to compel any violent procedures toward demonstrators.
This act of military coup leader can be assumed as a soft tactic in term of
building ‘good’ reputation to Thais. The involvement was manifest in respond to
the corrupted government of Thaksin with vivid evidence and there was no any
greater joy than this for elite group which is known as the ‘Yellow Shirt’.

            The 2006 overthrown of Thaksin was significantly noticeable
for a fact that the coup leader involvement was not because of the power but
for the whole country interests. In a period of political crisis, there must be
at least someone sacrifice even if ones labelled as a thirst of power.
According to a theory of Finer stated ‘manifest destiny’ which means the
military pursues its role and mission as a guardian of state since military
respects its ideology as a vital duty to intervene when the state is insecure
(Finer and Stanley 2006, p.34-35). Base on the theory above, Sodhi completed
his duty as a saviour for his nation, the norm of military ideology can be seen
under-pinning behind the coup leader action.

            Furthermore, back then in 2014, Yingluck Shinawatra, the
first Thai’s female president and also younger sister of Thaksin was also
experienced an overthrown act by military junta as well. Yingluck had been
accused as rice schemer, to simplify, ‘an act of corruption’ (The Japan Times,
2017).  Weeks of protest demonstrated
Yingluck’s resignation became a consequential outcome of the coup led by
Prayuth Chan-Ocha in an exact date of 22/May/2014. Despite the first female
president of Thailand label, Yingluck was also known as a fugitive just like
her brother. Shortly after the coup, Prayuth appointed himself as Thai’s prime
minister, promise a new constitution as he will bring happiness as well as
political consolidation. He asked his people to remain calm saying the
military’s plan is to restore the political system.  In contrast, election plans had been delayed
and seem to be far in the near future. In an interview Prayuth stated that he
doesn’t like when people called him ‘Prime Minister’ and it wasn’t his desire
to came to power but the situation dictated him to do so (Al Jazeera English,
2015).

            The ideology of military impose intervention to bad
situation in Thailand can be applied to the fact that coups happened more than
10 times in the country. Political crisis awakes the inner perspective of
martial law and could escalate to the army shift terminated caretaker
government with a notion to seize control of the situation. But in the other
hand, it can also be noticed that as long as civilians are elected by the
majority of citizens, their privilege will not be last long. The concept of
mindset which deepen down in the norm of military notion seems to be unexpected
and sceptical. Military institute declared themselves as the most important
part of the country and it seems like it is true in some ways. The ‘Back Bone
of Country’ saying maybe, at least, true in ways of past experiences toward the
cohesion of Thai’s peaceful status. Though there are aggressive forces toward
demonstrators at times but the remain situations after seem to be acceptable
and acknowledge by large majority of Thais.

            Look at the timeline of Thailand’s coup agenda, we can
notice the numerous coups happened inside this wonderful land of Asia. Military
has been persistently involved in Thai’s politics through military
interventions with the aims to act as a guardian of state when social discontent
happened, as well as safeguarding state interests.

            From the study of this paper, we were asked to explain
the factors that had impeded Thailand democratization. Answering this question
leads to critical conclusion toward the politic agenda of Thailand. Many major
factors can be applied to the regarding question above but as from research of
our work it seems to have two main factors as they were indirectly mentioned
above. Those two factors are critic military ideology and the performance of civilian
government.

The
ideology of military junta is a concept defined as a norm of actions in respond
to the safety and interests of state. It is clear that Thai democracy has not
yet improve due to the fact that Thai civilian government were likely fragile
and could not handle state situation well. 
The regime of military in Thailand throughout history seem to have
better impact of stabilizing country’s chaos. In addition, the path to
democratic state of Thailand had been unreliable from the view of military
force. Of course, there is absolutely an amount of people in Thailand who are
not satisfied by the coups so far, take the ‘Red Shirt’ as exclusive example.
But if it is for peace, Thailand must not visual each other by politic colours
but they need to provide opportunity for military to solve problems and
centralize state interests as whole (Al Jazeera English, 2015).

Policies
and structure to enhance the state growth set by civilian government seems
fragile and ineffective to satisfy Thai people as the whole interest as seen in
Thaksin’s family dynasty era. They focused on one part of their people led the
war between their own nations. The fact Thai people divided their political
interest in colours is vividly apply to the argument. Nonetheless, civilian
government was not able to provide trust to their own people as they caught in
corruption frauds and many more scandals such as proxy leading. In response to
the controversial scandal, it could be one of the factor toward the action of
coup by military junta as well. But since the coups did not design to install
stable democracy and maintain the cohesion in a long term, it is a right path
for military to take over the country for a while in order for a right
democratic leader shows up and demonstrate his/her restoration of democratic
status in Thailand.

In
conclusion, by a quick look into Thai current situation, it is still doubtful
whether democracy is a right thing to stitch up within the country. Though
there are many promises and attempt to hold the fair election for Thailand, it
seems the event is slowly faded as people are now getting used to the military
protectorate and seek for just happiness for their own. For the further answer
toward the best politic structure for Thailand, it seems beyond the analysis.
Therefore, the right track for Thais in future is unpredictable and can be seen
as destiny in the matter of time. 

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