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Corruption in Thailand has the junta feeling defensive

Prime minster 'ready for scrutiny' as details of state company scandals emerge

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Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has offered astrological predictions to back up his personal assurance that his government is clean.   © Reuters

BANGKOK It was an embarrassing start to the year for Thailand. The country's standing in a global corruption ranking has tumbled 25 places in the space of a year, while U.S. and U.K. authorities recently unveiled they had investigated a string of bribery cases involving high-profile Thai state companies.

All of this is particularly unwelcome news for Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. The military coup he led in May 2014 used fighting corruption as justification for toppling the elected government.

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