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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thailand's state of emergency!

The Prime Minister of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva, has called a state of emergency in his country.

Thai politics is brain-numbingly confusing. You would have to not only go looking for the information, but have the concentration to sit through all of the issues which led to this state of emergency

Apparently, supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy, who once banded together as a coalition to force former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra out of power, are back at it again.

They claim that the new People's Power Party at the time and their PM, Samak Sundaravej, were nothing more than puppets for former Prime Minister Shinawatra.

This has led to a host of leaders instituted by the Monarch and the dissolution of the PPP.

This is not yet the end. Abhisit Vejjajiva, the leader of the Democratic Party--to who the PAD is more favourable to-- has been undergoing severe pressure to put more policies in place that help the middle class

The issue is on the one side, you have the Thaksin-like supporters, who are rural populists and on the other hand, you have the Vejjajiva supporters who are mostly PAD party supporters, who favour policies towards a more free-market society and more towards the upper and middle class.

We cannot underestimate the power of the Monarch, Rama IX. It appears as if the monarch is on a populist wave of his own.

For one, he should have never buckled to pressure on any side and as a consequence dissolved the parliament at any time. Because of this, and after the coup of 2006 that ousted former PM Shinwatra, we have a very pro-PAD and Democratic party military, with rich men and women, about to--and some reports indicate that they have-- suppressed the rural and poorer classes and other supporters of PM Shinwatra.

Most likely the monarch was under heavy military and proletariat pressures. But, what he has done has caused more confusion and, perhaps, more upheaval.

The risk is now the PPP and the TRT parties, and their supporters, can now find the impetus to protest--as they have-- and now, form their own para-military groups to combat the overtures of the army.

I've seen it all before-- a populist/socialist like leader comes to power. Leads for a few significant years. The middle class and upper class use their money and influence over the media and business--most likely after they have been helped by the same policies they would be protesting against-- and work to undermine and overthrow a government.

What happens afterwards is what we are seeing now in Thailand. And, what will end up, is a growing political pressure. I have my own hypotheticals on what may happen if the Democratic Party gets away with too much. But, I wont share them now.

Say what ever you will about Shinwatra, he has led Thailand to great years of stability and prosperity, until his coup. They have not seen years like that before him or after him. And, at the rate this political impasse continues, they will never see years like this in the short term.
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