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Thailand

Yearbook 2018

2018 ThailandThailand. In February, Thailand introduced a smoking ban on 24 of the country's most popular beaches with a view to curbing debris in the water and on the beaches. The penalty for those who defied the ban was a fine of SEK 25,000 or one year in prison.

In May, more than 500 protesters gathered at the Thammasat University in Bangkok in protest of the military government postponing the general election that would have been held repeatedly during the year. The demonstration was one of several since the beginning of the year when a change in the electoral law was made. The protests have been carried out despite the country's ban on political gatherings with more than five people introduced by the military junta in 2014.

2018 Thailand

According to Countryaah.com, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam stated in June that general elections might be held in February 2019. However, he said that varying dates between February and May were possible.

In September, the military government removed parts of the previous ban on political activity, which meant that political parties for the first time since the military coup recruited members and appointed party leaders. In addition, parties with more than 250 members were allowed to hold party meetings. However, political gatherings with more than five people in a public place were still prohibited.

The country's culture minister said in July that six film companies, five of them international, planned to make films of the big drama surrounding a football team of twelve boys and their coaches who got stuck in a cave in northern Thailand for over two weeks. It was in June that the football team disappeared and major search efforts began. After nine days, the boys were found on an elevated rock formation just over 4 kilometers into the more than 1-mile-long cave Tham Luang Nang Non. The team had been forced ever further into the rock room due to rising water levels after monsoon rains. An entire world followed the rescue efforts with excitement. When the media announced in July that the coach and all the boys had been freed from the death trap in the cave, many were happy. However, a diver died during the rescue work.

Relatives and allies of the military deposed by Yingluck Shinawatra and her brother Thaksin, in November formed a new political party called the Thai Raksa Chart Party. According to analysts, the party was formed for strategic purposes in order to win more seats as the new military government's constitution makes it difficult for a single party to gain its own majority in parliament. According to the Reuters news agency, in addition to the Thai Raksa Chart Party, at least two additional support parties to the former Thailand government party, led by Yingluck Shinawatra, had been launched.

In December, the government announced that general elections would be held on February 24, 2019 and that the ban on all forms of political activity should be lifted from January 2019.

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