Dr Termsak Chalermpalanupap is a Visiting Fellow in the Thailand Studies Programme of the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute.
Previously he had been a researcher on ASEAN political and security cooperation at the Institute’s ASEAN Studies Centre. Prior to joining the Institute in July 2012, Dr. Termsak had served at the ASEAN Secretariat for nearly 20 years. His last post before retirement in July 2012 was director of the APSC Department’s Division of Political and Security Cooperation. Prior to joining the ASEAN Secretariat in early 1993, Dr Termsak had worked at The Nation, an English-language daily in Bangkok.
The election for the post of governor of Bangkok is due to take place in the last quarter of this year. However, Thailand’s major political parties lack suitable candidates with realistic chances of victory.
The convictions of three ministers do not augur well for the ruling coalition led by Thai Prime Minister Prayut. It also sets a precedent for pro-democracy protestors who have been detained - invoking one’s constitutional right to justify unlawful protest activities is an invalid legal defence.
The political temperature in Thailand is set to raise, as protest leaders up the ante and demand the reform of the monarchy. A separate process of constitutional amendment in Parliament will skirt the contentious issue.