Reactionary instincts of Thai middle class prolong the crisis
Prime Minister Yingluk’s dissolution of parliament is a step back for Thai democracy. Even if elections take place, and there is no guarantee that the opposition will take part since they know they will lose, everything will be worse than when Pua Thai won the election in 2011. The government’s withdrawal of the bill to make all senators elected makes the military constitution of 2007 some kind of “holy script”. Appointed judges are recognised to be more powerful than elected members of parliament. The military and Democrat Party killers, who gunned down pro-democracy Red Shirts in 2010 will still not be prosecuted and the lèse majesté prisoners will remain in jail. A grim day for our democracy.
Earlier the so-called “Democrat Party” announced that all its MPs were to resign from the Thai parliament. They hoped this would push the Yingluk government into dissolving parliament. But their aim is not to have fresh elections and a democratically elected government with a mandate from the majority of the population. Abhisit and Sutep’s Democrat Party have never won an absolute majority in any elections. They approved of and benefitted from the 2006 military coup which overthrew the democratically elected Thai Rak Thai government headed by Taksin. They were part of the protesters who shut down the international airport. They formed a government under military control in late 2008 after the reactionary judiciary decapitated Taksin’s party after it won the post-coup elections. Abhisit, Sutep and the military generals then shot down nearly 90 unarmed Red Shirts protesters who were demanding genuine elections in 2010. They were roundly defeated in 2011 when elections were eventually held. Yingluk, Taksin’s sister, won an overall majority for the new Pua Thai Party in these elections. Sutep kicked off the latest round of the crisis last month by organising protests which took over government buildings.