Following the epochal funeral of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October 2017, Thailand stands at a difficult crossroads. A new constitution was ratified in April, and the military junta is running out of reasons to stick around. Yet Thailand remains deeply polarized politically, while King Vajiralongkorn is untested and lacks popular legitimacy.
Events in Thailand during 2016 were overshadowed by the death of long-reigning King Bhumibol Adulyadej on October 13, and the entire nation’s mourning. Despite the popular approval of a new constitution in August 2016, Thailand’s military regime showed no sign of relinquishing power during this time of considerable national anxiety.
During 2014, Cambodia moved from violent confrontation between government and opposition forces to an uneasy compromise. The turning point came in July, when opposition legislators agreed to take their seats in the National Assembly, which they had boycotted. The long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party worked to polish its tarnished image.
Cambodia in 2013 was dominated by close-fought national elections on July 28, only narrowly won by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party after an unexpectedly strong showing by the opposition. Generational change was a major theme of the year, seen in the growing activism of youth and the deaths of several prominent figures.