Developments in the lead-up to Thailand’s election on March 24 underscore political divisions that persist as the country returns to civilian rule, says Fitch Ratings.
We noted political uncertainty around the transition as a constraint to Thailand's “BBB+” rating in our last rating review in December. As such, the rating already took into account a sizeable degree of political risk. Renewed disruptions could have a material rating impact if we assessed that they were on a scale sufficient to have a negative effect on Thailand’s economic outlook.
Thailand’s politics have been dominated over the last two decades by tensions between parties aligned with former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, which derive their support from rural areas, and political parties with strong urban support.
These divides have sparked a number of disruptive political demonstrations in Bangkok during 2006-14 including coups against the government. There has been no major unrest since the latest period of military rule began in 2014, but political fissures remain and could re-intensify after the return to civilian rule.