3 Political Scenarios, 3 Economic Impacts for Thailand

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3 Political Scenarios, 3 Economic Impacts for Thailand
Thai Business Box

3 Political Scenarios, 3 Economic Impacts for Thailand

Written by Patra Manas.  04-10-2020.

Speculations have been rife about the existing coalition parties joining with opposition Pheu Thai Party to form a national government.  However, PM Prayuth has since then dismissed the notion and put paid to the speculations.

But then again, never say never, so they say, especially in politics.

Its interesting that as the country is looking to find its way out of the economic crises, alternative political scenarios are cropping up and purely from an academic point of view , it may be worth debating on which of the present political scenarios  will best suit and support Thailand’s path to economic recovery.

Let’s look first at the latest floated idea of the national government whereby a national unity government is a broad coalition government consisting of all parties ( or all major parties) in the legislature, usually formed during a time of war or other national emergency.

Well, its not debatable that there is a national emergency staring us in the face with the emergency decree still in play, just to prove it. 

With all parties on board and if, and this is a big if, the parties can find a way to work together smoothly, then this scenario may just be the best for stability and progress in rolling out effective economic policies to combat the looming economic crises.

Political Stability can be achieved as anti-government movements will be curbed and the government can concentrate on saving livelihoods and the economy.

As countries jostle to find their place in the new world order and the new supply chain post Covid, countries that have a strong image of political stability will definitely have an edge over others in attracting investments and export deals.

Furthermore, Pheu Thai is a political party that is known for their progressive and effective economic policies and can bring a lot to the table in these desperate times.

The second political scenario is one in which the anti-government group have their demands met. Anti- government demonstrators have demanded that the government  headed by PM Prayuth be dissolved, that the constitution be rewritten and that the authorities stop harassing critic. The movement is mainly made up of students and the young. In terms of an ideology fight, the students are spot on and Thailand has a lot to be proud of in their young. The methods they chose in which to be  heard and how they carried out the demonstrations is impressive and cannot be faulted. The only thing wrong is timing. The worst thing for Thailand right now is the  dissolution of the government.  An interim government would need to be in place for at least two years, while the constitution is being rewritten, the elections  held and a new government is formed. The interim government will not have the mandate to approve budgets, loans and economic policies. The country will be in a  vacuum where every Thai would have to fend for themselves. In two years time, other countries would already be on their way to economic recovery and beyond, while Thailand would in high probability be in economic shambles.

That leaves us with the present political scenario with PM Prayuth’s government running the show. PM Prayuth has been in power since 2014 and Thailand’s economy has grown at its slowest pace since 2014. Most people are not convinced that PM Prayuth, with his military background has the right expertise to steer the country to great economic heights post Covid but at least there would be continuity and a certain degree of stability which could steady the country after the economic shock .

On the other hand, people may be underestimating PM Prayuth . If we were to step back a bit, prior to the global outbreak and asked the public whether PM Prayuth would be able to keep Thailand safe from a  global virus pandemic, the answer would  most likely have been a resounding “no”. Yet, under his leadership, Thailand has  been Covid free for 3 months now while other advanced economies still  struggle.

To overcome a crises of that magnitude, it required leadership that is clear headed and decisive. Maybe just maybe, if the same clearheadedness and decisiveness is applied again to the economic crises, PM Prayuth may just bring robust economic recovery home.