Cover story: New reality for Thailand?
On 22 May 2014, Thailand awoke to a new reality; the military had once again taken power in a military coup, the 12th since 1932. While international reactions condemned the return of a military government, the reactions in Thailand have been more mixed. Many people felt the political stalemate resulting in street violence between a politically divided and polarised population had to end. The military claimed it had to step in because the various factions were unable to reach an agreement. Since then we have seen a decisive government address a number of public complaints, e.g. graft, corruption, mafia influence, vested interests, vice as well as national legislative challenges such as pending laws in a number of fields ranging from international agreements, taxation, energy and the environment. It remains to be seen how long the military will stay in power. It is also unclear whether the military will apply the same ethical standards to itself as those it demands from people who eventually take over after democracy is restored. So far, the military rulers have placed themselves above the law. In the meantime, Thailand faces a number of challenges in order to keep the economy growing. Thai-Norwegian Business Review will continue to report on these matters until democracy is restored.