Thailand: Cabinet Reshuffle is Setback for Democracy
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra meets with US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in Bangkok, January 20, 2012. (PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images)
January 26, 2012
| Security
| Asia and the Pacific
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s controversial moves to reshuffle her cabinet to add cronies of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra – her brother, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006 – is a setback for democracy in Thailand and could indicate that the Prime Minister is a figurehead being manipulated by her exiled brother.

Yingluck, the 36-year-old leader of Thailand, reshuffled her cabinet just six months after taking office. While it is premature to predict whether the military will step in and overthrow the government as it did in 2006, the military is watching the moves of the fledging prime minister closely. The United States is especially concerned about the appointment to the cabinet of Nalinee Taveesin, who is on a U.S. Treasury Department blacklist for doing business with Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe.

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