The situation is still confusing. At 21:00 local time (GMT+7), we can summarize the situation as below:
- A coup by The Army Chief, General Prayuth Chan-ocha.
- Political leaders from both side are ‘in control/custody’ by the army. The list includes Suthep Thaugsuban (PDRC leader), Abhisit Vejjajiva (Ex-PM and opposition leader), key ministers in Pheu Thai government, 5 key red shirt leaders.
- Some red shirt leaders throughout the country are in custody.
- Acting PM Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan is missing. As we know currently, he is not in the army control.
- 2007 Constitution is now defunct. The Cabinet is gone.
- The junta keep the senate and the justice courts.
- All TV stations are under controlled. Normal programs are replaced by military graphic.
What We Don’t Know Yet
- Whereabout of Niwatthamrong, also Yingluck Shinawatra.
- It seems that Shinawatra family members fled the kingdom. No confirmation yet.
- Nothing from Thaksin yet.
We already warned the ‘bad scenario’ in our previous analysis and now it happens.
It seems that from the conservatives’ viewpoint, the stake is too high so they can not lose this war at all cost. That’s why this coup happens. The martial law on 20th May is a testbed for today’s coup. We think the coup has been planned long before and the martial law is just a ‘lead signal’ for the eventual coup.
The big picture of this coup is ‘conservative forces consolidate their power’. The red shirts movement is too dangerous for the ‘sake of the Kingdom’ and needs to be gotten rid of. The ‘hard liner’ generals now run the show and we should expect the bad outcome.
What to Expect
This list is just our quick analysis from today’s information. We are very pessimistic right now for the situation.
- We should see the new PM soon (within the next 3-4 days). The senate will act for the full parliament and nominate a new PM.
- Possible PM candidates are General Prawit Wongsuwan, ex-Army chief and Palakorn Suwanrath, a Privy Councilor. Both are closed to the palace.
- The new junta government will run the country for 1-2 years. Possibly longer than previous Surayud Chulanont government (2006-2007).
- New Constitution will be drafted, we might call it 2015 Constitution. It will be more draconian than 2007 Constitution.
- PDRC, Democrat Party, and all anti-Pheu Thai leaders will be released in the next few days. Pheu Thai and red leaders will be in custody longer.
- The short term (1-3 months) outcome will be peaceful but it’s temporary peace.
- The longer term (3-6 months and more) looks bad. Red Shirts will go underground. We might see some unrests.
- The situation after that depends on the structure of the new Constitution and the call for ‘true democratic’ general election.
- If the Constitution is undemocratic and the election is postponed indefinitely, the country (especially the junta government) will face the insurgency in North and Northeastern which is the red shirts’ bases.
- The worst possible scenario is a chronic civil war. Same as Thailand’s ongoing Deep South Insurgency.
We will update our analysis frequently as the situation changes.