Advance Blog

June 29, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 29 June 2020

News

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
    • Today Thailand reports 7 newly confirmed cases, a total of 3,169 cases. Out of the total number, 3,053 have been discharged from hospital (or at 96.34%); 58 are being hospitalised. The death toll is still at 58. The new cases arrived from India (6) and US (1) and have been in state quarantine. This is the 35th consecutive days that there is no local transmission in Thailand.
    • Over the weekend, Thailand reports no new confirmed cases, including imported case from aboard.
    • The secretary-general of the National Security Council reiterated the significance of extending security decree as the country is moving towards the 5th phase of easing, despite calls by political parties to scrap it as soon as possible. The CCSA will make a decision today and will need to be sealed by the cabinet tomorrow.
    • As the CCSA aims to extend the state of emergency, ‘Medical coup’ fears spread as decree gives Prayuth sweeping powers.—Nikkei Asian Review
    • Breaking: The CCSA has reached a decision to extend the emergency decree for one more month.
    • The CCSA outlines businesses to be re-opened the 5th phase of easing: educational institutions, department stores, night clubs & karaoke (operate until midnight), internet cafes, soapy massage parlours,

Politics

  • PPRP party convention was held on Saturday:
    • It is not beyond expectation that Deputy PM and the party strategist Prawit was unanimously nominated as the party leader and Mr Anoocha as the party secretary-general.
    • The former leadership Finance Minister Uttama, Energy Minister Sondhirat who formerly served as the PPRP leader and the secretary-general are no longer part of the party executives.
    • Super Poll published its survey showing that a majority of people feel sorry to see the so-called “Fantastic 4” (Ministers under Deputy PM Somkid’s clique) dethroned by the PPRP. 66.3% of the so-called silent majority felt sympathetic towards the group.—Thai Post, Manager
    • The new party secretary-general said Prof Dr Narumon, the current government spokesperson, as the party treasurer will lead the economic team for main ruling party. Mr Anoocha said that the team will include “big names” in business.
    • The movement to place the government spokesperson as the new economic czar was not well-received by the media.—Matichon, Krungthep Turakij, Post Today, Manager, Bangkok Post
    • An exclusive interview with the Deputy Party leader Paibul Nititawan was published on Thai Enquirer
  • As the main ruling PPRP shifts its leadership, including the removal of the current economic czar and his clique from portfolio could sap momentum for joining the trade agreement.. In “Thailand’s TPP stance on the line as ex-general heads ruling party”.—Nikkei Asian Review
  • An opinion survey by the National Institute Development Administration (NIDA) asking people in the 2nd quarter who they see as the most appropriate person to be the Prime Minister and which political party they support. The result shows that 44.06 % thinks no one is appropriate, 25.47% thinks current PM Prayut is the most eligible, followed by main opposition Pheu Thai Party Chief Strategist Sudarat. As for political party, 32.38% said they do not support any political party, 20.7% said they support Pheu Thai Party, the main ruling PPRP’s support is at 15.73% (from 16.69% in December 2019), Move Forward Party came fourth at 13.47%. –Thai Post
  • A media report laid out “5 steps roadmap” of the 3Ps (Prayut, Prawit and ‘Pok’ Anupong) to secure the continuity of political power. The first step was the coup and install General Prayut as the Prime Minister for as long as possible. Then the second step was to set up a new political party with the help of the government economic czar DPM Somkid to compete in the last general election. The third phase is to have DPM Prawit lead the PPRP as its interim leader as long as the health of DPM Prawit allows; or until all the local election have been held. The fourth step will be to have PM Prayut seats as the PPRP leader and the number one on the Party list MP to boost legitimacy in the next election. The last phase will be to secure the political heir of PM Prayut, potentially Army Chief Apirat who, according to the Constitution, needs to be exempted from holding political positions for two years after finishing Senator term.—Siam Rath

Business:

Tourism

CPTPP

  • The CPTPP Committee established by the Parliament proposes that the deadline for completing its studies on Thailand’s accession be postponed to 25 July.  The Committee is exploring the possibility of exempting Thai rice seeds from the UPOV clause, the disadvantages of opening Thailand’s pork market to Canada, pharmaceutical IP, and the establishment of the Free Trade Agreement Fund to help local farmers.  Source: https://www.prachachat.net/economy/news-481407

Others

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