Friday, May 25, 2007

Thailand crisis?

The king made a public speech on Thursday night, which is rare enough to be news in itself, directed toward the judges who may be called upon to give a verdict on the dissolution of the 2 main parties by the (separate consitutional judges). Thai Rak Thai and the Democrats are both facing serious corruption allegations, though it'd be TRT that's the main cause of concern. TRT was Shinawatra Thaksin's party and presumably he still leads it form the uk where he's now based and poised to take over manchester city.

In the king's speech, he takes great pains to point out how he's not allowd to interfere in constitutional affairs but urges the judges to consider carefully what the effect of their judgments might be. At first I thought it was just the usual Thai 'face'; thing, demonstrations look bad. But for the king to speak out like this could mean he fears something more serious, perhaps a 2nd coup?

Whatever they decide will lead to trouble or damage, not only to you but me as well.

It was widely speculated that the last one had at least his tacit approval - could this mean something's being plotted in which he has no influence.

As many people as might support thaksin, the king's popularity is far, far greater than any thai politician's. But what would happen if it was an army faction that the king openly opposed? It could go as far as civil war, but I think that possibility's remote.

More likely some face-saving solution will be found and in a year or two, thailand will go back to democracy under yet another constitution. The endemic corruption that killed the last one will probably still be hanging round though.

BBC report


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