A Cambodian academic says the derailment of democracy and coming to power of the junta regime in Thailand sets a bad example for other ASEAN countries.
Deth Sok Udom, a Cambodian political scientist and Dean of Academic Affairs of Zaman University, Phnom Penh, said on a radio program on Voice of America (VOA) Khmer on Monday that the 2014 coup d’état and the junta’s subsequent assumption of power set a bad example for other ASEAN nations, especially on mainland Southeast Asia, most of which are still stumbling toward democratic development.
Deth commented that other dictatorial governments in the region might repeat the claims of the Thai junta about the risks that come with democracy in order to maintain their own interests.
He added that while Myanmar and Cambodia are currently experiencing a democratic transition, Thailand represents a setback.
“In a unified area, if parts of the area are broken, eventually that will affect the whole area,” said Deth, quoted by VOA Khmer.
He pointed out that Thailand doesn’t seem to be influenced by the politics of other countries in the region, which include Indonesia, the biggest country in ASEAN, which has recently successfully emerged into a democratic transition after years of military dictatorship.
He further commented that although Indonesia experienced a democratic transition before other countries in ASEAN, Indonesia has not been as successful as other countries and has not outstripped Thailand very far on a global scale.
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