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Thailand

https://www.idea.int/democracytracker/

February 2024

Opposition Move Forward Party faces dissolution
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The Move Forward Party (MFP) faces potential dissolution as it faces mounting legal challenges following a recent Constitutional Court ruling that deemed MFP’s proposed amendments to the royal insult law constituted an attempt to overthrow Thailand’s constitutional monarchy. A day after the 31 January ruling, petitions were initiated urging the Election Commission to advocate for MFP’s disbandment before the Constitutional Court. The final decision could materialize within weeks or months, with rights advocates highlighting that the unfolding events offer a textbook example of how the political establishment employs state mechanisms to suppress opposition movements.

Sources: Bangkok Post, The Diplomat, International IDEA

January 2024

Constitutional Court bans expressions on amending lese-majesty laws

On 31 January, Thailand’s constitutional court issued a ruling declaring that the opposition Move Forward Party’s (MFP) campaign to amend the nation’s royal insult law was in violation of the constitution. The Court directed MFP to cease all attempts to advocate for the law’s abolition through any medium. Additionally, the ruling stipulated that any amendments to the law must adhere strictly to "lawful legislative measures," such as those conducted within parliament, thereby potentially excluding discourse by legislators with the public or social media engagement from the process. Although no immediate penalties were imposed by the ruling, political analysts speculate that it could potentially serve as grounds for the dissolution of MFP. The decision follows as ex-MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat was cleared in another legal case aimed at disqualifying him from parliament. Earlier in the month, a man was sentenced to a record 50 years for criticising the Thai monarchy.

Sources: BBC News, Bangkok Post, International IDEA, The New York Times

December 2023

Thailand takes steps toward legalizing same-sex marriage
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On 21 December, Thailand’s parliament overwhelmingly endorsed the first reading of four draft bills aimed at establishing a legal framework for same-sex unions. The bill seeks to revise the Civil and Commercial Code by adopting more inclusive language, modifying existing definitions of marriage and replacing terms like “husband and wife” with gender-neutral terms. The proposed amendments would also grant LGBTQIA+ couples the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts, including adoption and inheritance rights. Subsequently, a committee will be formed to merge the four bills into one, ahead of further readings and necessary approval stages before becoming law. LGBTQIA+ rights advocates have welcomed the move, noting that if enacted and receiving royal assent, the bill could take effect as early as mid-2024.

Sources: Bangkok Post, The Diplomat, Nation Thailand, Amnesty International, Deutsche Welle

August 2023

Parliament votes in new prime minister

On 22 August, Thailand's parliament elected Srettha Thavisin from the opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP) as the new prime minister, concluding a three-month political impasse. This followed failed attempts by Move Forward Party's (MFP) leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, to secure sufficient support for the position from a military-appointed Senate after winning a plurality in the May polls. Before the failed bid, MFP and PTP had taken steps to form an eight-party coalition. Srettha's election coincides with PTP's decision to form an 11-party coalition that includes two pro-military parties. Move Forward Party was excluded due to its commitment to reform the royal defamation law. Political analysts have expressed uncertainty about Srettha's ability to govern effectively due to PTP's “numerical disadvantage compared to conservative partners in the coalition.” Srettha, considered a "political newcomer," has vowed to address income inequality, LGBTQIA+ rights, and corruption.

Sources: Bangkok Post, CNN, Channel News Asia, Associated Press

See all event reports for this country

GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
69 950 844
System of government
Constitutional Monarchy
Head of government
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin (since 2023)
Head of government party
Pheu Thai
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
Mixed Member Proportional system
Women in lower or single chamber
19.4%
Women in upper chamber
10.5%
Last legislative election
2023
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
6.16
Head of state
King Maha Vajiralongkorn
Selection process for head of state
Hereditary or election by hereditary state rulers
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
10/11/2021
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
78.42%
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
State Party
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
No Action
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
Signatory
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
No Action
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
No Action
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
State Party
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
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Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
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Representation neutral Rights
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Representation neutral Rule of law
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Representation neutral Participation
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Global State of Democracy Indices

Hover over the trend lines to see the exact data points across the years

Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
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/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

Use the slider below to see how democratic performance has changed over time

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