Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Politics & Asia, Part 2

IN AN EARLIER post I blogged about my experience witnessing Asian politics first hand during a recent trip to Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. My readers have demanded an update to the story. (OK, I realize I have no readers, but it makes me feel better to say that I do).

Despite promises not to relent to public pressure, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra announced yesterday that he will resign in an effort to help the 'Thai people unite." Today he went further, announcing to his cabinet that he will turn over all his power to his deputy in an effort to 'let the country move forward.' This may not be A1 news here, but it is quite significant because Thaksin was trying to position himself as Southeast Asia's premier statesman. The announcement also proves that Thaksin's strategy of holding a 'shot-gun' election seems to have backfired. While his party easily won a majority of seats in Sunday's election, serious constitutional issues arose when many seats in Parliament went unfilled as secondary Party's boycotted the election. Under Thai law a session of Parliament cannot open until all 500 seats are filled and 39 remain vacant.

More to come on this fascinating topic. I promise. More now at WaPo.


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