Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thai Election Results Reflect Resentment Against Special Power

What are factors that have led to certain drawbacks in the formation of the Aphisit Vejjajiva government in December 2008, and have drawn criticism against it from both domestic and international critics.
Major Factors
The first factor which is the basic fact is that during the general election in December 2007, the People Power Party won 233 House seats and the Democrat Party won 165 House seats. The margin was as high as 68 seats.
However, some have exercised the ‘special power’ through the protest led by the People's Alliance for Democracy from May to December 2008. The protest had turned aggressive enough to lead to the seizure of the Government House and Bangkok airports.
At the same time, the judicial system had become an instrument used to oust Samak Suntharawet, the then prime minister, and dissolve the ruling People Power Party. The ''special power'' had been exercised to create a group of traitors in the People Power Party as well. The group had later on defected from the People Power Party to support the Democrat Party.
These are factors that led to an incident that is later on called the formation of a government in the ‘barrack.’
One factor which is no longer ''confidential'' is the existence of the Vejjajiva government with the support of ‘special power.’ It is the special power that had helped the Democrat Party survive the party dissolution ruling. This special power had also enabled Vejjajiva to remain in the prime minister's office without feeling any pinch from the fact that 92 people were killed, 2,000 people were injured, and 300 other have been continuously detained.
Double-Standard Situations
The government led by Field Marshal Thanom Kittikhachon had to show responsibility after a number of protesters were killed in October 1973. The government led by General Suchinda Khraprayoon was held responsible for the bloodshed uprising in May 1992. Those governments had shown their political responsibility by resigning from office. The Aphisit Vejjajiva government, on the contrary, had fully enjoyed the privilege to remain in power.
The process to exercise ‘special power'' is a process that exists in Thai society. It is a process that has clearly lent fairness to the people. It is a process that has clearly led to injustice. It is a process leading to double-standard situations.
Moreover, it is a process leading to the question on who has ordered protester killing. None could actually come up with fair and comprehensive answer.
Reconciliation Process
Although the House has been dissolved and the general election was called, the special power has continued to stir up turmoil and distort the election and election results. Consequently, the reconciliation process that the people have yearned for could not take place. A lot of conflicts and rifts will then continue to exist in Thai society.

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