An Embarrassment Of Scandals Even For Thailand

In Banharn's administration, corruption is so rife that it's affecting the entire economy

For the beleaguered government of Banharn Silpa-archa, it may be one big scandal too many. In just one year of office, Thailand's Prime Minister has been plagued by a $3 billion banking debacle, accused of letting his party accept huge kickbacks for defense contracts, and charged with handing out pork barrel projects galore to cronies. Then in early August came the accusation by Banharn's own Justice Minister that his government had accepted $90 million in bribes in exchange for licenses to operate banks. That prompted key coalition partner Thaksin Shinawatra to quit the already fragile government.

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