De-politicizing a polarized nation? Behind Thailand's 2015 Constitution
Following the military coup of May 22, 2014, Thailand is once again preparing to promulgate a new constitution. Similar to the 1997 and 2007 constitutions, the current drafting process is designed to re-organize the political system to suppress “bad” politicians, and allow stronger, non-corrupt, and more effective politicians and political systems to triumph. Is this latest round of charter-writing simply another outbreak of constitutionalism that has long afflicted Thai politics? Or does it offer anything substantially new?
On April 22, the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings hosted a discussion by Duncan McCargo of the University of Leeds, as he examines aspects of the draft constitution and the ideological assumptions behind them. Joseph Liow, senior fellow and Lee Kuan Yew chair in Southeast Asia Studies at Brookings, moderated the discussion.
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"There are concerns that placing the [Israeli] embassy in Jerusalem would be a sign that the United States recognizes it as a part of Israel's sovereign territory, even though the position of the U.S. over the last 70 years or so is that Jerusalem is actually disputed territory, and that the status of it will have to be resolved through negotiations."
"I would be surprised if the State Department interpreted the Jerusalem Embassy Act as requiring it to break ground on a new embassy facility or take other such steps. The plain language of the statute only requires that the secretary of state determine and report to Congress that the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem has officially opened."