Complaints, corruption, coups

8 07 2013

PPT is behind on a pile of posts we’d like to get out, so this is a summary post of issues worth noting:

At the Bangkok Post: The issuance of a government decree empowering the Ministry of Finance to acquire up to 2 trillion baht in loans for infrastructure development is claimed to be a constitutional violation. This is according to Law Reform Commission chairman Kanit Na Nakhon. Anything like this speaks to a constitutional challenge, the Constitutional Court and a judicial coup, so worth watching.

The Nation comments on the royalist corruption mantra (readers will see this word often over the next few posts).

The paper’s report refers to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) selecting provincial members. The story then morphs into a political attack that mirrors yellow shirt complaints. And why not, for it comes from anti-Thaksin Shinawatra campaigner and NACC member Klanarong Chanthik, who says: “Corruption is badly undermining the country’s economic, political and social systems. Irregularities in Thailand tend to get more serious and complex…”. Then diehard monarchist and anti-Thaksin organizerĀ  Vasit Dejkunchorn is given a platform, saying that “greedy politicians” are “kleptocrats” and “warned that, if nothing is done to rein them in, they might eventually turn Thailand into a kleptocracy – a country ruled by thieves.”

To put some of this together, readers might want to also peruse an op-ed by David Streckfuss at the Bangkok Post, where he compares Thailand’s 2006 coup and the recent coup in Egypt. This caught our collective eye:

In Thailand, Thaksin increased his own power in the name of his large majority wins in the House of Representatives, and similarly, in part to exert more civilian control over the military. The courts annulled one election, removed two prime ministers, and banned members of Thaksin’s political party. The coup government enacted its own constitution and efforts to amend it have run into judicial blocks and threats of military coups.

The occurrence of coups is a sign of unresolved and conflicting visions of the distribution of political power in a society as well as, of course, of a powerful and unaccountable military. Democracy _ participation in elections and acting in accordance to a constitution that defines the rules of the game _ creates the space and framework necessary to work these things out.


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