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Populism and identity politics damage Southeast Asian democracy

Election campaigns need more rules and less inflammatory talk to avoid fueling strife

| Thailand
If democracy is to survive, competitive politics needs more regulation.   © Reuters

It might seem misleading to compare recent elections in Thailand and Indonesia. The two countries appear to be on divergent trajectories: Thailand, under military rule, on a path toward a bridled democracy; Indonesia an established if rambunctious democracy after four direct presidential elections.

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