Democrat Party and getting a political crisis in motion

11 09 2011

The Democrat Party has declared that time is up for the Puea Thai Party-led government. In the Bangkok Post, the deputy spokesman of the party that was trounced in the election in early July has declared the new government, officially in place for a month, has had it.

Democrat Party deputy spokesman Atthaporn Polabutr warned that people “should be prepared for a new round of political crisis which may occur in six months because the Pheu Thai-led government has abused its power for the benefits of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra…”. He claimed that “the government’s power abuses had become unacceptable to the people in society.”

These alleged “abuses” include: “pressure to win a royal pardon for Thaksin, an attempt to revive the Ratchadapisek land case, unfair transfers of state officials, and appointment of people under serious legal charges to take political positions…”. For good measure, he added that “the government’s key policies such as the 300 baht daily minimum wage, the 15,000 baht monthly salary for bachelor’s degree graduates, and the paddy mortgage programme were full of flaws and could affect its stability.”

Finally, Atthaporn called for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, with only a month in office, to go. Otherwise, “this government would meet growing resistance from various sectors of society.”

Should Atthaporn simply be dismissed as a lunatic who can’t get over the fact that the Democrat Party can never win an election? We don’t think so. There are several reasons for this view.

First, less than a week ago, Puea Thai MP and and red shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan is said to have stated that “an unconstitutional power clique is conspiring to bring down the Pheu Thai-led government.” There can be little doubt that the anti-Thaksin elite are already at work, plotting and scheming.

Second, the Democrat Party has repeatedly shown that it does not respect the electoral process, so no electoral defeat, no matter how large, will be respected.

Third, the Democrat Party has a long history of relying on decidedly undemocratic forces to lift it to government – palace, military, the People’s Alliance for Democracy and backroom elite deals.

Finally, the Democrat Party is drawing on precedent. Thaksin won the biggest ever election victory in February 2005 and yet the military set the tanks rolling just 14 months later following a long period of agitation by anti-Thaksin forces.

For Atthaporn and his party, the election defeat is just a bump in the road, and can soon be overcome with anti-Thaksin propaganda, rhetoric and by getting the yellow-shirted media, intellectuals and organizers in motion.


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12 09 2011



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