Sunday, April 22, 2007

AFP/Bangkok Post: Thai Politics Heading for The Perfect Storm?

Political stormclouds

By AFP/Bangkok Post

Thailand is bracing for a pair of political crises as the fate of the new constitution and the future of the two biggest political parties are soon to be decided - just as political rallies are set to get bigger.The army-installed government was initially welcomed when the military ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra in a September coup, with the public hopeful for stability after months of street protests demanding his ouster.

But the good feelings have faded as the government has come under increasing criticism over a number of policy miscues, including its economic management and an escalating insurgency in the kingdom's Muslim-majority south.

Anti-junta protests have become more frequent and allies of Thaksin - who has remained in self-exile abroad since the putsch - plan to rally against the government on Friday, with experts warning of bigger demonstrations ahead.

"We are in a transitional period for Thai politics," said political analyst Panitan Wattanayagorn.



Interesting that they quote Dr. Panitan when he is one of the chief advisers to Surayud right now. He is not exactly an impartial voice.

Will there be a perfect storm or is this a lot of hype? Or will the hype lead us all to the perfect political storm?

The thing that bothers me is that it seems many people are itching for a fight. The development of Thai politics is such that people in power conspire behind closed doors to take away power of their competitors or they have to protest and cause violent outbreaks. There really isn't a "public space" in Thailand.

What about doing it the right way for once and creating that space? How about having discussions in the open amongst one another about the problems of society like mature adults?

Everybody is talking past each other. Nobody is talking to each other. If these political groups started taking a mature attitude towards politics, many of these crises could be averted.


Anonymous said...

Methinks they may be building a case for deciding "no election - for the public good of course", or perhaps another putsch. I am sure the military is just as pissed off with the Surayud shambles circus as everyone else is. Hyping up the danger might well justify a pre-emptive strike.


hobby said...

Fonzi said: Everybody is talking past each other. Nobody is talking to each other. If these political groups started taking a mature attitude towards politics, many of these crises could be averted.

It would be helpful if Thaksin called his dogs off - he has said numerous times he is finished with politics, but was it just his mouth moving (again).
The only way things can move forward is for Thaksin's return to be ruled out (forever) - only then can the real issues begin to be openly discussed.

Surayud's main mistake has been that he has tried to be too reasonable, which has emboldened his detractors and the 'old powers' as they see it as a sign of weakness.

I believe Surayud when he says he was reluctant to take the job.
I think in the back of his mind, Surayud thinks he lacks legitimacy because he was not elected.
Unlike Thaksin and many other politicians (and would be politicians), Surayud does appear to have a conscience, and having a conscience is a detriment to someone in his temporary position.

Anonymous said...

I agree with hobby. If Thaksin came out and said there is absolutely no chance of him returning to politics then it would cool things down.

It'd be the right thing to do.

So we shouldn't hold our breath...


Anonymous said...

Nobody would believe him with his record of truth and honesty. Anyone who thinks he could take this loss on the chin is in cloud cuckoo land. The bureacracy doesnt believe it, which is why they are frightened shitless of helping the AEC. They expect him or his mates to be back in, and they may be right. Then the lingiuni will really be in the fan fellas, watch the scores being settled.

Fonzi is right, they talk past each other, everything they do is chaotic becuase they dont have the maturity to do things in a structured fashion, nor to think more than one move ahead in the chess game. he is also right to say the Thai lacks an essential ingredient to pull this country out of the third world. Integrity. They just dont got any, I doubt they even know what it means.