ABSTRACT

After the general election of M arch 1950, the political system was in out­ ward appearance a democracy, run by a government of politicians depen­ dent on a majority in a parliament elected by secret ballot and male suffrage. In reality, power was shared between politicians and the monarchy, army officers and American representatives. Civilian governments worked through a highly centralised state machine. The resulting regime favoured relatively few - perhaps one or two hundred - business magnates and bank directors, many of whom were on friendly terms with influential political figures. This interlocking system of power centres could be described as the right-wing establishment, which included the government when it was run by the right. Such was the case from November 1952 to November 1963, a period when the government and the rest of the establishment were basically united by mutual confidence, even though different groups quarrelled as they jostled for power. The confidence broke down when a reformist party held power from November 1963 to July 1965; and this breach led indirectly to a military coup in 1967.