Coups and constitutions

The Economist has a note looking at Thailand’s high number of constitutions and why they come and go, usually quickly.

The story begins:

IN AUGUST voters endorsed Thailand’s latest constitution in a tightly controlled referendum that offered no alternative to the draft put forward by the ruling military junta. It may take a year before the rubber-stamp assembly ratifies it. By the time it comes into force, it will be the country’s 20th constitution in 85 years. Why does Thailand keep changing its constitution?

The answer to the question:

In a word: coups.

Military coups. The military has been working with others:

It has usually wielded its power in symbiosis with a traditional elite comprising the monarchy, aristocrats and interrelated wealthy families. The civilian elites have provided a cloak of legitimacy and administrative skill, while the army has supplied the means of suppressing those who wish to be ruled by neither group.

The article’s worth a read.

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