Thaksin-Yingluck strategy has failed II

7 01 2013

Several times PPT has posted skeptically about the political strategy adopted by Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra in dealing with their opposition. Essentially, their strategy is to stay in the government’s seats for four years, no matter what.  To do that, the Puea Thai government has appeased the military, monarchy, royalists and others. Whenever the government has proposed anything that has resulted in rising opposition or criticism, it has withdrawn.

We see this strategy at work on the issue of constitutional amendment. While the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship strategy for 2013 lists constitutional reform as a priority –  “The UDD is unwavering in its conviction that the government must proceed with a third reading of the charter amendment bill” – it seems the government is in full retreat. Yingluck reportedly says: “We will need to take a step back and talk it out to find the causes [of the problems], but not to create more divisiveness. Otherwise [the problems] will never come to an end…”.

All it seems to take is a few determined royalists ranting about a government policy and the government is seen reversing, seeking a safe parking place. So when a royalist bully with palace connections like coup plotter Prasong Soonsiri claims that “wholesale charter amendment is prohibited and a referendum to decide if it should proceed is probably unconstitutional” his views are sufficient for the Thaksin-Yingluck retreat strategy to be implemented. (The current undemocratic constitution, born of the 2006 military coup, is largely Prasong’s work as he was the chair of the drafting committee and repeatedly called the document an anti-Thaksin charter and demanded military action against those opposed to it and the sham referendum.)

The flaw in the Thaksin-Yingluck strategy is that opponents – yellow shirts, military brass, ultra-royalists, palace figures and the Democrat Party – now know that they can use it to get what they want. So it is that the People’s Alliance for Democracy is opposing the authority of the International Court of Justice on Preah Vihear. This in itself is not triggering another retreat, but as this position is reinforced by other xenophobes and ultra-royalists, the risk is government capitulation.

Hence it is no surprise that the “so-called Group of 40 Senators said the Pheu Thai government would have to inform the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that it had no authority to make a ruling over the dispute — and Thailand would not accept a ruling or order of the court that would affect sovereignty over the disputed plot.” This is the usual group of mostly unelected senators that oppose everything the government does. They know that a bit of agitation can get them their way when all the government desires is longevity.

If more opposition weight is added to this co-ordinated PAD-military junta demon seed senators – the same lot who, with Prasong were championing Pitak Siam – then expect the government to be looking for a retreat.


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7 01 2013
Entrapping opponents « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] an earlier post, while we were critical of the Puea Thai Party leadership and the government on constitutional […]

7 01 2013
Entrapping opponents « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] an earlier post, while we were critical of the Puea Thai Party leadership and the government on constitutional […]

9 01 2013
It is too predictable…. « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] a recent post, PPT explained that the Thaksin-Yingluck appeasement strategy had failed, not least because […]

9 01 2013
It is too predictable…. « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] a recent post, PPT explained that the Thaksin-Yingluck appeasement strategy had failed, not least because […]

21 02 2013
On being middle class progressive « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] working class supporters, and attempting to push an agenda through the electoral/party system. The Thaksin-Yingluck strategy is conservative, yet the red shirts appear to us to have rejected both royalism and liberal […]

21 02 2013
On being middle class progressive « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] working class supporters, and attempting to push an agenda through the electoral/party system. The Thaksin-Yingluck strategy is conservative, yet the red shirts appear to us to have rejected both royalism and liberal […]

20 07 2014
“Liberals” do the junta’s work I | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] There was no “majoritarianism” by the Yingluck government. Indeed, many commentators, PPT included, pointed out the compromises Yingluck was prepared to make in accommodating the monarchy, military, […]




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