A massive ten-and-a-half weeks after Thailand’s first general election since 2014’s military coup, the leader of said coup, Prayut Chan-o-cha, was voted in as Thailand’s prime minister by the new parliament on 5 June. His victory was about as surprising as discovering that the next pope will be Catholic, since the military junta has spent the last five years engineering the Thai constitution to guarantee they are never out of power. The process has been as bizarre as it was farcical.

Bangkok is in flames as the counterrevolutionary violence in Thailand reaches a bloody climax. The long-awaited assault by the Thai army has already taken place, and will not cease until every trace of the protest has been wiped out. No-one can be sure of the number of casualties, but the final figure will certainly be more than what the authorities have admitted to so far. It seems that some Red Shirts have responded by setting fire to banks, shopping malls and other buildings in the city, and there are reports that protests and violence is erupting in other parts of the city.

The dramatic events unfolding in Thailand – with 21 people killed by the army in the last few days – highlight the weakness of the present regime and the power of the mass movement. It is an indication of the impact of the present worldwide crisis of capitalism on this South East Asian country.

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