IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


14th July, 2023 Geography

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The recent rejection of Pita Limjaroenrat's bid to become the prime minister of Thailand.


  • Pita Limjaroenrat, a reformist, failed to secure the necessary votes to become Thailand's prime minister.
  • Despite winning the popular vote in the May election, Pita's coalition did not have enough parliamentary support.
  • Voters rejected the army-backed rule under Prayut Chan-o-cha, who took power in a 2014 coup.

Pita's Unsuccessful Bid

  • Pita's coalition fell short of the required 375 parliamentary votes to elect him as the 30th premier.
  • Conservative MPs and junta-appointed senators did not support Pita, making the outcome inevitable.
  • Pita expressed determination to strategize and win a potential second round of voting.

Uncertain Path Forward

  • The Thai parliament will continue voting until a prime minister is elected.
  • Parliamentary suspension and legal cases against Pita and his party complicate his path to power.
  • The house speaker has not announced the date for the next vote, leaving the situation unclear.

Tensions and Past Protests

  • Tensions were high during the parliamentary vote, with security measures in place to deter demonstrations.
  • Three years ago, massive pro-democracy protests erupted in Bangkok after the dissolution of Pita's party's predecessor.
  • Supporters voiced their right to protest and express their opinions as a democratic country.

Reformist Agenda and Opposition

  • Pita's reformist agenda, including proposed changes to royal defamation laws and business monopolies, faces opposition.
  • Conservatives and the establishment object to the MFP's plans for reform.
  • Pita's loss may create difficulties for his coalition and raises questions about potential alternative candidates.

Allegations and Challenges

  • Pita faced allegations of breaking campaign rules, leading to a recommendation for his suspension from parliament.
  • The Election Commission investigated Pita's ownership of shares in a prohibited media company.
  • The MFP labeled the recommendation as an "abuse of power," claiming the shares were inherited.

Constitutional Court Case

  • The Constitutional Court accepted a case alleging that the MFP's promise to tackle royal defamation laws aims to "overthrow" the constitutional monarchy.
  • The party has two weeks to present their defense against the allegations.

About Thailand

  • Location: Southeast Asia, bordered by Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia.
  • Capital: Bangkok
  • Population: Approximately 69 million people
  • Official Language: Thai
  • Government: Constitutional monarchy

Political History

  • Thailand was formerly known as Siam and transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy in 1932.
  • The country has experienced periods of military rule, with several coups in its modern history.
  • Protests in recent years have called for democratic reforms and challenged the influence of the military.


  • Thailand has a diverse economy and is considered one of the "Tiger Cub Economies" in Southeast Asia.
  • Major industries include tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, and services.
  • Thailand is known for its export-oriented economy, particularly in automotive, electronics, and textiles.
  • The country is a popular tourist destination, renowned for its cultural heritage, beaches, and vibrant cities.

Culture and Society

  • Buddhism: Predominant religion in Thailand, shaping its cultural traditions and values.
  • Thai Cuisine: Renowned for its unique flavors and use of fresh ingredients, including dishes like pad Thai, green curry, and tom yum soup.
  • Festivals: Colorful festivals like Songkran (Thai New Year) and Loy Krathong (Festival of Lights) showcase Thai traditions and customs.
  • Respect for Monarchy: The Thai monarchy holds great reverence and respect from the Thai people.

Tourism and Landmarks

  • Bangkok: Vibrant capital city with a mix of modern skyscrapers and historic landmarks like the Grand Palace and Wat Arun.
  • Chiang Mai: Cultural hub in the north, known for its temples, night markets, and the annual Yi Peng Lantern Festival.
  • Phuket: Famous for its stunning beaches, water activities, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Ayutthaya: Historical city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring ancient ruins and temple complexes.

Challenges and Issues

  • Political Stability: Ongoing challenges and debates around political stability, democratic governance, and military influence.
  • Human Rights: Concerns raised regarding freedom of expression, media freedom, and human rights issues.
  • Southern Insurgency: Southern provinces of Thailand have faced a long-standing insurgency issue.
  • Economic Disparities: Disparities between urban and rural areas, income inequality, and access to resources and opportunities.

International Relations

  • Thailand is an active member of regional organizations such as ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).
  • Maintains diplomatic ties with major powers like the United States, China, and Japan.
  • Thailand has strong economic ties with neighboring countries and international partners.


Q) Consider the following statements about Thailand:

  1. The prime minister of Thailand is the head of the state.
  2. The National Assembly of Thailand is the legislative branch of government.

Select the correct statements using the codes below:

(a)    1 only

(b)   2 only

(c)    Both 1 and 2

(d)   Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: B