Thai Political Crisis Continues As Rice Scandal Grows

Pressure on Thailand’s embattled government mounted on Tuesday, when a flagship rice-buying scheme vital to its support stumbled closer to collapse and the opposition filed legal challenges that could void a disrupted weekend election.

The crisis in the rice scheme is a humiliating blow for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra – it helped sweep her to power in 2011, but has become mired in allegations of corruption and growing losses that are making it increasingly hard to fund.

The commerce minister said China had cancelled an order for 1.2 million tons of rice due to a corruption probe, while state-run Krung Thai Bank (KTB) joined other lenders in saying it would not provide loans urgently needed to rescue it.

Protesters succeeded in disrupted voting in a fifth of constituencies in Sunday’s election. The incomplete poll means Yingluck could head a caretaker administration for months, unable to make policy decisions, while demonstrators continue to block parts of the capital as they have been since November.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza