Comment: Politics – same rubbish but with a twist?

So politics is coming back to the forefront of the news headlines, its been building up over the past few weeks and with the Internal Security Act invoked a few days ago, market participants have become more worried. We’ve also heard that Mr. T is becoming more and more agigtated and desperately wants to return to Thailand so further fears are building that the push for the amensty bill will be far more aggressive than it was at previous parliamentary hearings.

The timeline is as follows:

Aug 1 – Nov 28  Parliamentary session opens.
Aug 1 – Aug 10  The Internal Security Act is invoked.
Aug 4 – Aug 6  The Democrats holds a rally in Bangkok.
Aug-04 Pitak Siam Group rallies.
Aug 7 (13:00)  House debates on the amnesty bill.
Aug 14 – Aug 15  The 2014 fiscal budget bill is on the agenda.
Week after The Bt2tn infrastructure borrowing bill and the constitutional amendment will be on the agenda.
Oct International Court of Justice is expected to deliver a ruling on the Preah Vihear dispute.

So whats going to happen out of all this?

Ok easiest one(s) first, the fiscal budget – likely to pass through quickly as the 2014 fiscal year starts on 1 October, its already passed the 1st session in a previous House sessions and due to go to 2nd and 3rd readings in the new House Session.

Infrastructure budget – it has also already passed the 1st reading in the previous House session, due to go to the 2nd and 3rd readings in the new House session. Without a doubt this is going to be postponed, I’m fairly confident that the wonderfully corrupt politicians of Thailand are still vieing for a piece of this massive pie and that perhaps the bill will be only be passed in stages. However in the end, as is always the case in this country, the total bill will eventually be passed in a few months, if not year.

Reconciliation bill – Similar in form to the Amensty bill, it was proposed a few months ago by Chalerm and includes the pardoning of Mr. T. (see below on Amnesty bill for thoughts as the two are essentially intertwined)

Amnesty bill – Well its a brand new bill that’s never been passed by any House session yet. Now there are several proposed bills but the key one that Pheu Thai (PT) is going for is MP Worachai Hema’s version. Essentially it aims to pardon all people facing politically-related charges during all protests since the 2006 coup and excludes leaders of the rallies, and of course the cases involving ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra.

So from what we’ve heard, Mr. T does want to enter back to Thailand (as a quick aside, a lot of people keep asking why on earth would he want to come back? Well simply, its his home for one and two he wants to save his face) and is forcing the people he mandates to push it through strongly. So we’ll see some protests, some demonstrations, if things get incredibly out of hand perhaps even a riot or two but in the end we think that the government won’t push it through, Mr. T I’m sorry to say but I think a lot of people, even in your party, would be far happier if you didn’t return at all.  It has been a few years since we’ve had political noise in the country (hence why businesses and the market have done rather well) so as usual the politicians will bicker, people will get paid off with new positions/money/whatever and in the meantime businesses will continue, we’ll just sit and wait for buying opportunities, and hopefully once it all settles down, we have can some peace and quiet until the mid of next year when this government’s term ends.

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