Highlights of the week

That tricky thing called no-confidence debate

One “tradition” that Move Forward will find hard to challenge concerns the parliamentary censure of the government. Although opposition MPs are not required to do it every time it is…

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Yingluck’s return has to be soon, but things can get complicated

In what has become one of Thailand’s most-scrutinised photos of late, ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra sat near a pool apparently reminiscing about something. How he was dressed, how soft medical…

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Illustration by Arwin Intrungsi

Princess who needs no Magic Mirror to tell her how she looks

This week’s purple phenomenon is a fairy tale befitting HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, as her life story seems to have come straight out of children’s bedtime publishing house. The…

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File photo : Thaksin Shinawatra//Reuters

Everyone will walk legal, constitutional and political tightropes on Thaksin

Article 112 requires prudence in everything – enforcement, commentaries for and against, judgement of wrongdoing and etc. Cue Thaksin Shinawatra and that can be an understatement. In a few days,…

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File photo : Constitutional Court judges presiding over a case.

Court verdict deals with crux of matter

If Move Forward was a rebellious teenager and its rivals were the parents, Wednesday’s ruling by the Constitutional Court was a “You are grounded” order, to say the least. No…

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File photo : Pita Limjaroenrat

Pita’s road remains bumpy

Pita Limjaroenrat’s vow to go to Government House is either a cryptic comment or an off-the-cuff remark that did not mean much. What is certain is that if he was…

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Thaksin and digital wallet can converge to form political tsunami

If Pheu Thai needs one good reason why it should back down from its flagship electoral promise, the party does not have to look beyond the 14th floor of the…

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Council of State makes digital wallet look even harder

The government’s legal advisers have issued a very polite warning about the massive borrowing plan which is necessary if the ruling Pheu Thai Party is to keep its controversial election…

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Stage set for chaotic 2024

Don’t let the drone-painted skies during the New Year countdowns fool you. That is as beautiful as 2024 can ever get, because this year is going to be the most…

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Chaiyaphol Wipa or Loong Phol and his wife, Somporn, pose for photo after giving an interview to a television programmer in 2020.//sanook

Perfect storm batters Loong Phol

Many believed that things would drastically change after the Criminal Court ruling on December 20, but even they had not expected that it would be such a spectacular free fall…

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Savitree Wongsricha and her remaining daughter, Nong Sading, during their online sale of cloth products. Life goes on after Nong Chompoo’s death.

A mother’s fight for justice against all odds

Savitree Wongsricha’s deep sorrow and great anger were the most glaring in four shabby pieces of paper few people have seen or remembered. In them, she pledged that anyone responsible…

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Jamese Webb Space Telescope

Biggest news of 2023

Another 12-month journey around the sun and another trail of ironies and unpredictability. This year is ending with the planet earth telling humans again that nothing is certain, that no…

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Nualphan Lamsam

When Madam Pang may change her football-watching seat

Assuming that she becomes the chief of the Football Association of Thailand, there is nothing better to describe the immense task ahead for Nualphan Lamsam than a football jargon that…

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Move Forward wants political, not legal, impact from its amnesty push

On the surface, it’s a blatant show of apparently-backpedaling defiance at most. Beneath it, the opposition Move Forward Party wants its amnesty bill to look that way so that the…

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Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit / AFP

Thanathorn puts Move Forward in awkward position

While he was in exile, Thaksin Shinawatra welcomed Thai visitors all the time, so it’s not such a big deal that Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has admitted to meeting him overseas during…

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Is living dangerously Pheu Thai’s way to go?

While Thaksin Shinawatra’s camp has never looked more vulnerable, it used to lose political power from positions of apparent invincibility all the time. In 2005, the Thai Rak Thai Party…

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Social media can deal with hypocrisy and discrepancies

While Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, X (Twitter) and the likes have come in for a lot of criticism over the years due to their flaws, one of their undisputed virtues has…

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Paetongtarn’s rise gives birth to some strange theories

How many prime ministers does Thailand have? It’s a question dramatized by the much-taunted action of Srettha Thavisin who appeared to be kissing a hand of Paetongtarn Shinawatra immediately after…

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New Pheu Thai leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra

Where does Paetongtarn take Pheu Thai from here?

A famous Mr Bean episode has him grapple with a wrong exam paper the whole time. He only realises his mistake in the last minute when the supervisor’s announcement makes…

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File photo : Chaiyaphol Wipa or Loong Phol

Countdown begins for historic Nong Chompoo ruling

On October 31, a Criminal Court verdict will come down on a case that once captivated Thailand. If “Loong Phol” is set free, it can bring a trail-blazing defense strategy…

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Thailand remembers one of its gloomiest days

“October 6” is the dark fallout of “October 14”. What happened exactly 47 years ago was considered the blackest chapter of the modern political history of the “Land of Smiles”….

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Deputy national police commissioner Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn

Secrets and integrity

If he speaks out, deputy police chief Surachate Hakparn has warned, the entire Police Department would crumble. He possibly couldn’t be any more wrong. The whole police force crumbled the…

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Move Forward secretary general Chaithawat Tulathon

Telltale signs to come from leadership changes 

The most lethal weapon has to be able to fly under the radar and pack a big punch. Chaithawat Tulathon is better than other candidates for the Move Forward Party’s…

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The making of Kamman Nok

While Thais were being obsessed with something else, Praween Chanklai, aka Kamman Nok, made senior police officers strip almost naked “for fun” at one of his “parties”, fired celebratory shots…

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Thaksin paradox to haunt many

In Parliament, the newly-formed Srettha government stands to face several explosive issues, but the controversial treatment of Thaksin Shinawatra is not one of them. In fact, treacherous as it is,…

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Why performance of Srettha’s Cabinet will be most crucial ever

Past governments were judged largely along ideological lines. By that, controversial figures in Cabinets were noted, but eventually they would be accepted as virtual necessities. When something bad about them…

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Image Name

Prime minister’s most complicated, treacherous and unenviable task

Tough as they were, the jobs of Prayut Chan-o-cha, Yingluck Shinawatra, Abhisit Vejjajiva appeared straightforward. And it would have been the same for Pita Limjaroenrat if he had been named…

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Photo : Move Forward Facebook page

As Pheu Thai keeps crossing new lines, Move Forward finds own dilemma

Senators rejecting a Pheu Thai prime ministerial nominee will be heavily criticised, but that possibility will have been largely expected. Move Forward doing the same, however, will be a lot…

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Let’s give world’s biggest dictator wholehearted kisses

Mind you, even Myanmar’s military junta doesn’t ground teenagers if they come home reeking of alcohol. Even the most suppressive rulers don’t tell people how to dress. Authoritarian regimes don’t…

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Brief history of two frenemies

How fast the situation is changing. A few months ago, the Pheu Thai-Move Forward bond looked unbreakable, and just a few days ago, their smiling leaders were still posing together…

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New Thaksin chapter about to begin

The last time Thaksin Shinawatra was in Thailand, Pita Limjaroenrat was still a high-flying student cementing international recognition and was never heard of by his own political fans of today…

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Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of Move Forward Party, shakes hands with Puea Thai Party leader Cholnan Srikaew after holding a meeting with the eight-party coalition in Bangkok on July 17, 2023. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP)

Fireball in Pheu Thai’s court

If the tightrope stretching before the second biggest political party had been very narrow before, it’s also fragile now. A clear picture of what lies ahead has two main features:…

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Every scenario is nightmarish

The “catastrophe loading” has been completed, so to speak, after Parliament on Thursday rejected the nomination of Pita Limjaroenrat as the new prime minister. The objective of every player now is…

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No government is safe in any way, shape or form

Politically, modern Thai history is on nobody’s side, but neither is the future. Therefore, a pretend and celebratory phone call to a late revolutionary reformist to say “We have made…

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The good old days

Pheu Thai’s leverage may be getting stronger

Amid post-election shocks and Move Forward’s euphoria, the Pheu Thai Party looked all but dead and buried immediately after the May 14 election. It was a peculiar political mishap, though,…

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Why Pheu Thai’s thinking is democratically wrong

Coming from a man considered to be one of the top political thinkers, the idea that the second biggest party in a multiple-party system is traditionally required to fight with…

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From Thaksin to Pita, iTV has some history

When it was conceived around three decades ago, iTV represented a big hope, with the public wanting it to counter misinformation, distortions and manipulations. At that time, Thailand was in…

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Worrisome “media shares” rulings in recent past

While Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat has taken certain actions regarding the iTV share controversy, history is not on his side. Some media reports have dug up similar cases that…

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What Move Forward needs to do from now

Even in an extremely-unlikely scenario that it ends up in the opposition bloc again, the Move Forward Party will still have to tussle with political gravity. And future tests will…

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Pheu Thai’s dilemma(s)

Hours after Move Forward’s shocking election victory, Voice TV presenter Nattakorn Devakula said something that is politically sensible but democratically questionable. Pheu Thai, he suggested, should go ahead and be…

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Key things to watch after historic Thai election

After every big earthquake, major aftershocks ensue. A Pheu Thai landslide would have made headlines, but unpredictability would not have been as prevalent. Move Forward’s wham-bam victory means a lot…

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Thailand’s long and winding road

When Thais go to the polls on Sunday, the challenge is how to help lay the groundwork for a system that can prevent the next election from being held under…

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Tangled up

It could be a Hail Mary pass in an increasingly unpredictable playing field. The scenario of imminent Thaksin Shinawatra homecoming, amplified by the man himself, can help Pheu Thai, but…

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Some familiar faces may never be looked at the same way again

Sararat Rangsiwuttaporn, the suspect in what looks certain to become one of the world’s most talked-about criminal cases, is entitled to full-scale legal defense. But there is no stopping of…

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Srettha’s got some serious explaining to do

To different people, Bt10,000 is worth differently. In other words, one rural man can use it to buy a food stockpile that may last a year or even longer, while…

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It’s called “Water Festival” just because April is hot

Songkran is an elephant and everyone can be one of the blind men fumbling around for its shape. Road accidents make it a nightmare festival for related authorities or rescue…

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Antihero who can even put mega villains to shame

The thin line between being a whistleblower and shrewd schemer is thinner in Thailand, which boasts one of the world’s biggest numbers of squealers, who exist largely in the political sphere….

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“Pragmatism” will clash with “idealism” in Thai elections

Four starving men trudge across a vast desert with just one piece of bread left. Sharing it and nobody will die first or immediately, but most likely they all will…

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Phetchaburi siege had to end to avoid more people being killed or injured

Police had to use force to end the recent armed standoff at a housing estate in Phetchaburi province because more people could have been killed or injured if the situation…

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Image released by A24 Films shows Stephanie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan in a scene from, “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” (Allyson Riggs/A24 Films via AP)

Smart, silly, epic, bizarre, peaceful and chaotic all at once

Multiverse teases, taunts, gives hope, darkens mood, sells books and inspires new-age movies. Cue quantum physics and screenplay writers can do just about anything, since the very fundamental concept of…

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Learning from our feminists

The marking of Women’s Day on March 8 in Thailand is considerably “political”. But it’s political “constructively”. Demands for free tampons at workplaces, extended pregnancy leave or legalised prostitution, whether…

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Political prospects may get harder to read

Prawit Wongsuwan, Jatuporn Prompan and the unbendable Move Forward Party have all expressed sound reasons lately when it comes to the future course of Thai politics. The greatest influencer, though,…

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Bad week for world peace

More resounding than explosions in Ukraine are words uttered over the past few days by top politicians of the rival superpowers. The statements did not quite offer anything new that…

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How “no-vote censure” can guard against post-election implausibility

It’s the Pheu Thai Party who has done much of the talking in Parliament this week, but it’s Move Forward who stands to benefit the most. The biggest opposition camp,…

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Fleeting glimpses of hope

For a change, heavy equipment and machinery are being mobilised from all parts of the world to one destination to save lives, not destroy them; religious and political differences were…

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Move Forward at crossroads already

The latest statement by hardline politician Piyabutr Saengkanokkul provides the clearest evidence that one of Thailand’s newest political parties, which thrives on unorthodoxy and drastic reforms that border on extremism,…

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Ancient loose cannon that can go dud or else

The Pheu Thai Party has decided to spar with Jatuporn Prompan only, but did it really have the choice of going toe to toe with him in full scale? The…

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History won’t be made, unless …

The much-taunted and extremely unlikely post-election scenario of Pheu Thai joining hands with Palang Pracharath to form a government would be historic if it happened. Anything shorter than that will…

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Only Prayut, Prawit and Paetongtarn can realistically gun for PM post

The old “three Ps” were united. The new “three Ps” are anything but, yet there are scenarios where two would join hands and leave the other out cold. After the…

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Numbers, not words, will shape post-election landscape

This week’s virtual pledge of loyalty to allies by the Pheu Thai Party cannot entirely soothe them, because they know all too well that in politics, even cutthroat one like…

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Further return to normal not necessarily good

Bruised, defiant but clueless, humans entered 2022. At that time, COVID-19 was the main plot, but, as 2023 approaches, the bruise has largely gone and defiance has probably morphed into…

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Why so many supported Argentina in World Cup final

“This is my first time backing Argentina in a football match,” declared a Thai football fan. Coming from a Brazil supporter, who loves France’s Thierry Henry and Olivier Giroud to…

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Frenemy politics to be more crucial than ever before

What Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat said the other day may not be as significant as why he said it. While Pheu Thai may not like his statement in its…

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High minimum wage: Devil is in the details

Morally, it’s undisputed. Economically, it’s questionable. Politically, it’s a no-no. All of them, of course, come with a big “Unless”. That’s how Thailand should proceed with the Pheu Thai Party’s…

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(R) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and (L) Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan

Prayut, Prawit at crossroads

When straightforward replies should have been preferred but are replaced instead with elusiveness, it’s safe to assume that something is amiss. Over the past few days, both Prime Minister Prayut…

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Saudi Arabia’s midfielder #10 Salem Al-Dawsari celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on November 22, 2022. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

When money measures athletes’ success

The name is Salem Al-Dawsari. If that does not ring a bell, he scored a World Cup goal that shocked the world the other day. Ones can be forgiven for…

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Path to chaos (Part II)

The Democrats are cautiously optimistic and the Republicans are clenching their jaws, but if chaos could speak, it would wholeheartedly thank American voters for the midterm results. The slippery slope…

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Midterm elections: America’s “Path to chaos”

US democracy’s biggest irony is that, in order to survive, it must demonise itself. One of the most glaring evidence of that has come just hours ago, when President Joe…

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A Thai soldier stands next to seized weapons displayed while security forces search the riverbed following overnight clashes in Narathiwat province, in Muslim-majority southern Thailand, 26 October 2004. Thailand’s troubled south was rocked by sporadic violence overnight despite a curfew imposed after clashes between security forces and demonstrators left six dead and dozens injured, officials said 26 October. (Photo by PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL / AFP)

Old wounds that never really heal

One man’s justice is another man’s oppression. This rings true in any political system. On April 28, 2004, 32 allegedly-armed people took shelter in the Krue Se mosque in Pattani, after…

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Udom and Srisuwan simply elementary tests

Democracy is easy when everyone is agreeable. How conflicts are dealt with, peacefully and justly, is what truly separates it from authoritarianism or anarchy. Minor conflicts producing the kind of…

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Loong Phol case puts justice system to big test

When it happened in 2020, the death of three-year-old Nong Chompoo was one of Thailand’s most tumultuous criminal cases. However, the Criminal Court’s trial, which began a few months ago…

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It takes some courage

If he was wrong about Buddhism and detachment before, Prairie Praiwan has to be right this time, getting out of the closet to become someone he always has been wishing…

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And the fight continues …

One chapter has just been closed. Prayut Chan-o-cha’s nail-biting survival act is in the middle of the book at most, with Thailand’s political turmoil only entering a new phase, where…

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FOREX-3D: Culmination of monetary absurdities

People drawn into a Ponzi scheme disguised as foreign exchange “investment” is ridiculous, but that is possible only because the world had either “normalized” or come to condone the senselessness…

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The Queen and Liz Truss

What had Queen Elizabeth II done in the 1990s that she didn’t over the last two decades? Nobody knows the exact answer. Most likely though, she kept doing what she…

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In this file photo, a person places flowers and a US flag on the 9/11 Memorial on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in Manhattan, New York/ AFP

World remembers it, reflects on it, and probably more

It’s “that month” again, arguably the most significant period of the year when many in America are concerned. But September has never been the same for a lot of other…

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What’s Bitkub’s problem? Born too soon or existing too controversially?

If Jirayut Srupsrisopa is a true blockchain enthusiast, he must be uncorking the champagne when that massively-lucrative deal with the Siam Commercial Bank collapsed a few days ago. In an…

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Weeks of tension, tightropes and looking over shoulders

A major political suspense is materializing following Wednesday’s Constitutional Court decision to suspend Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha from duty. But it will also a period when everyone is restless, has…

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Photo from FB page พรรคเพื่อไทย

Now, is Pheu Thai landslide possible?

The answer depends primarily on two factors. The first one is quite ironic considering the Palang Pracharath “conspiracy theory”, which is doing the rounds and not for the first time….

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Hug her like you mean it

Here’s a little tip if you don’t want to buy a basket of chicken essence or bird’s nest soup, or go to a crowded sukiyaki restaurant: Ask your mother to…

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This handout taken and released by Taiwan’s Presidential Office on August 3, 2022 shows US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking in the Presidential Office in Taipei.

Will Pelosi launch thousands of war drones?

There is too much at stake in today’s world for China and the United States to lock horns militarily. However, Xi Jinping telling his US counterpart Joe Biden not to…

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It could be “so near yet so far” again for birthday boy

A Pheu Thai “landslide” is very likely, no matter how the party-list calculation fights end. In fact, despite the Thai Raksa Chart setback and failure to win a single party-list…

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Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha attends a no-confidence debate at the Parliament in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, July 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Beauty and travesty of censure

Here’s a simple question: Who was the last Cabinet member to be ousted in a no-confidence vote? The answer is “Don’t torture your brain” because everyone has survived no-confidence voting…

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Fond farewell to young men in red, jeers for organizer

Early bird gets the worm, we all have been taught. But nobody has said anything about the fact that the worm can get jaw–droppingly expensive. Many Thai fans of Liverpool…

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Expensive “loyalty” dents world’s most popular sport

When Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard visited Thailand many years ago for a friendly game with the Thai national team, he said two things that probably can combine to form the…

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Multiple governments have legalized the planting and sale of cannabis for recreational use, but such action requires good preparation including mandated and widespread warnings. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP)

Cannabis, not COVID-19, to feature at upcoming censure

Two months ago, the coronavirus would have still been a “sexy” topic at the no-confidence debate. But the relevant numbers are going down, and economic suffering has been too related…

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How to avoid derailing renewed cannabis debate

When the “freedom” to own guns was constitutionally embraced in America a long time ago, critics must have given the same warning as their Thai counterparts up in arms against…

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In defense of Thai males’ parallel universe

Thai men have deservedly received a fair share of “male chauvinism” criticism. But that cannot be the only reason why domestic abuse cases featuring them as victims have never made…

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Deeper look into City Assembly votes

The Pheu Thai Party has a strong cause for celebration. Move Forward, if it wants to celebrate as well, must do so cautiously. The Democrats still have their work cut…

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Staggering victory that requires careful reading

Chadchart Sittipunt’s stunning landslide may have hidden scrambled messages voters in the capital delivered on Sunday in the Bangkok gubernatorial election, but arguably the real nightmare for the shaken powers-that-be…

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Avoid creating big bomb out of monk’s case

The Luangpoo Saeng controversy contains two dangerous substances that shall never be mixed. The first one is monks not doing their jobs properly while the second is reporters gravely mistaking…

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File Philippine election campaign photo(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

The Bongbong paradox

Some call it “Beauty of democracy”. Under authoritarian regimes, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, or Bongbong, wouldn’t stand a chance. For the son of someone who had been dislodged from power to…

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Bangkok race: How pollsters got it all wrong in 2013

Some nine years ago, both popularity and exit polls pointed towards one outcome. The Pheu Thai Party’s city gubernatorial candidate, Pongsapat Pongcharoen, would win comfortably, if not by a landslide,…

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Key points learned from Thammasat poll

Bangkok gubernatorial election made a big mockery of pollsters in 2013, when they expected M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra to lose heavily, only for him to win his second term with the…

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Thailand grapples with old trouble presenting itself in new era

Reporters being tumultuously curious about Jurin Laksanavisit’s and the Democrat Party’s future tells a lot about where the country is heading when sexual harassment and domestic violence are concerned. The…

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Foreign tourists and locals take part in water fights to celebrate Thai New Year, locally known as Songkran, at Khao San Road in Bangkok on April 13, 2022. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Songkran: Profound Bangkok-countryside link that withstands test of time

Thailand’s most-celebrated and globally-renowned festival has had its fair share of politicization, with people being urged a few years ago to throw water using bowls of a specific color a…

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Bangkok race’s biggest challenge

It normally begins with a “public forum” debate on pedestrians’ and ordinary citizens’ problems, but the city gubernatorial election usually ends up producing the outcome of a national political game….

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A ‘No War’ sign stuck on a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the window of a children’s library in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, March 29, 2022. (AP Photo)

Realities of war threaten to overwhelm rhetoric

Ask Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky what he wants more now, worldwide expression of sympathy or what he deems a fraction of western tanks, warplanes and anti-warship systems that he suggests…

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Treacherous path of Paetongtarn

A Facebook post by an anti-government activist may have gone largely unnoticed but it asks a highly-relevant question: What does the political rise of Thaksin Shinawatra’s youngest daughter say about…

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Ukrainian soldiers and firefighters search in a destroyed building after a bombing attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)

Only paranoid world survives

After German troops invaded Poland in 1939, triggering an armed conflict that was to spread to virtually every part of the world, human beings made the most of their fledging…

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