|Quoting Victrola (Reply 5):|
It seems as if Thailand has a freely elected government. However the opposition thinks it has a right to depose that government. I have heard it said that the opposition doesn't like the idea of ignorant farmers having the vote. Could someone out there give us a better explanation of the grievances of each side? I have yet to see a good explanation of the situation.
Both the PPP party of deposed PM
Somchai and Thai Rak Thai party of criminal ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra were found guilty of election fraud, including a landmark 2006 court decision on the illegality of the TRT party itself following the military junta that kicked Thaksin out of the PM
The grievances of the opposition are rather simple: the parties that have been in power since 2001 represent not "ignorant farmers" but out and out exploitation of the Thai political process. When Thaksin won his huge landslide in 2001, he was elected on promises of debt forgiveness for farmers and a 1 billion baht handout to rural provinces, none of which actually happened. His rule could best be described as authoritarian and self-serving, as he immediately imposed controls on the media and telecommunications industries, the latter of which was intended to benefit his family's immense telecom business, which was sold for billions to Temasek of Singapore just three years later. Primarily for those reasons, the military supported the opposition's calls for his ouster and the King backed the imposition of martial law as well.
The PPP party has been, until this week's ruling, essentially the TRT by another name, with many of Thaksin's cronies and friends at the helm, culminating in his criminal wife's brother Somchai being elected as PM
, this time with rampant vote-buying to capture the rural majorities once again. This time, middle class Thais and Bangkok residents would have nothing of it, hence the creation of the PAD
alliance early this year.
The grievance of the late PM
and his party is simply that they were freely elected and the opposition doesn't represent true democracy. I don't know where they got the idea that election fraud constitutes a free and fair election, but that's the line they've been using all year with denial after denial.
Unfortunately the Thai supreme court lacks the authority to do anything other than rule this or that party's activities as being illegal. It will take parliamentary reform to change the election system to create more safeguards against voter fraud (as well as criminalization of it and related activities), and without a strong ruling coalition, it will be difficult to achieve such legislation.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty