By Shreeya Sinha
(HN, November 23, 2011) - Since July 2011, Thailand has endured its worst flooding in more than half a century. The death toll has reached more than 500, and 22 of the country's 77 provinces, including Bangkok, the capital city, are still affected. The floods have shattered businesses and infrastructure and disrupted global supply chains at a crucial time in Thai politics.
Yingluck Shinawatra was elected Prime Minister two months before the floods started. Thailand's first female leader ran on a campaign of political reconciliation but now faces the additional challenge of rebuilding while opponents try to to take advantage of her missteps. And while the flood waters start to recede in the capital, the political and economic implications may linger.
In the above video, Asia Society Associate Fellow Duncan McCargo, the 2009 Bernard Schwartz Book Award winner, analyzed the crisis and its affect on Shinawatra's tenure in the video above. "There will people asking if Thailand is facing bad karma after six years of political tension and crisis," he said. McCargo outlined the oppositional politics at play that are impeding rebuilding efforts.
"It remains to be seen whether the government, the bureaucracy, and the military can hold back the waters," he said.
The author, Shreeya Sinha, is an award-winning Journalist, Multimedia Producer and Social Media Editor for Asia Society. She was raised in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India.