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Today, December 10, is Constitution Day here in Thailand and a national holiday.  The Thais have long associated constitutions with democracy and even post-coup governments have been quick to draft new constitutions to legitimize their rule in the eyes of the people.  However, currently Thailand has no constitution.  The 1997 constitution was overturned when the military overthrew the TRT government on September 19.

Here are links to the last two constitutions — The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand 1997 (the "people's constitution" which, among other things, was written to eliminate the minor political parties and the weak governments they created) and The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand 1991 (famously enacted on December 9, 1991 so that there would be a constitution in place on Constitution Day the following day).

Interestingly, George Bush Sr. is making an official visit to Bangkok tomorrow to meet with HRH Bhumibol Adulyadej, the third former U.S. President to visit Thailand in the past several weeks (following recent trips to Phuket by Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter to check on tsunami recovery efforts).  Although the interim Prime Minister, Surayud Chulanont, is scheduled to meet him at the airport, there won't be an official meeting between the elder Bush and the current military government.  I almost forgot to mention, martial law was (finally) lifted over about half of Thailand last week (the only difference that I think this might mean for us in Phuket is that "real" gas stations will be allowed to remain open after nightfall once again).