Yingluck’s demise

27 01 2015

There’s not a lot that is new in academic Kevin Hewison’s op-ed on the impeachment of Yingluck Shinawatra, but a few things worth highlighting. His article at The Conversation begins:

No-one should be surprised that Thailand’s former prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, has been impeached by the military-appointed National Legislative Assembly. This was one more act in a political tragedy in which elected politicians have been repeatedly defeated by the military and judiciary.

… These events were scripted, directed and produced by the military junta. Perhaps the only surprise was that Yingluck defended herself, her government and electoral democracy.

He points out that the “impeachment” was a “show trial”:

An unelected assembly, packed with generals and Yingluck’s political opponents, threw out an elected politician who had already been sacked by the Constitutional Court before the May 2014 coup. That putsch – itself illegal – ejected the elected government, scrapped the 2007 constitution and set its own rules to retroactively impeach Yingluck from a position she no longer held.

Hewison mentions Thaksin’s demise in 2006:

Not unlike her brother’s situation when he was ousted by a coup in 2006, it was Yingluck’s electoral popularity that brought her downfall. Thailand’s political elite is suspicious of elected politicians and fears that “populist” policies threaten its social, economic and political control.

On the military:

… the military wants to continue to steer political developments. There’s a good chance that the coup leader, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, will stay on as prime minister after elections….

The junta hopes that the final act in this political drama will be an election where the result will at least be a royalist and pro-military government and more likely a military-dominated one.

Whatever the outcome, it won’t be a democratic regime.


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