It is 88 years since the revolution in Thailand that resulted in the end of the absolute monarchy and the start of democracy.

But it is the army and the royal palace that define much of Thai politics. 

The king by law has few direct powers, but he is very influential.

The prime minister is elected but many Thais question the democratic process. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha took over last year after five years of military rule. 

He is the former army general who led the last military coup in 2014, the 12th coup since the end of the absolute monarchy.

The military's control on society alarms pro-democracy activists. 

Protesters in the capital, Bangkok, have defied the ban on mass gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic. They fought briefly with police as they rallied, all to commemorate the events of 1932.

On Inside Story, an in-depth discussion on the future of democracy in Thailand. 

Presenter: Peter Dobbie


Pravit Rojanaphruk - Political analyst and columnist at Khaosod news website

Pavin Chachavalpongpun - Founder of the FORSEA pro-democracy organisation and associate professor at Kyoto University in Japan

Dominic Faulder - Associate editor of the financial newspaper, Nikkei Asian Review 

Source: Al Jazeera News