Here is a list of the pending events that will shape the future of the country. The volatility is still high.
The country remains deeply divided, polarized. Add to this reality, the matter of the royal succession and you get an amazing conundrum.
Thanks to a group of defectors at the House (allied of Thaksin before), the Democrat Party has managed in december 2008 to form a new coalition. Abhisit, the leader of Democrat Party, has been elected Prime Minister.
This move came after an acute crisis with the PAD, who occupied the Government House for 3 months, and closed Bangkok’s airports for a week.
The People Power Party (ghost of Thaksin’s party, TRT, disbanded) who won the elections of december 23 2007, has been disbanded for electoral fraud.
Samak himself was disqualified as Prime Minister in september by the Constitution Court… Replaced by Somchai, Thaksin’s brother-in-law.
The end of 2008 has been very agitated.
Now, it’s going to be difficult for Abhisit to manage his “Frankenstein coalition“. And, other Sword of Damocles, in case of elections, it’s likely that the Democrat Party would be defeated. Again…
The ex Prime Minister is under fire, convicted in the Ratchadapisek Land (2 years jail) and on the run. The UK revoked his visa.
Thaksin is a liability for the stability of the country. He has been humiliated (arrest warrant with his picture, jail term, etc.) he probably wants his revenge, he has the financial means, he’s still popular (the elections were a proof).
This is the most “taboo” issue in Thailand. This explains why all the public debates (if there are real ones) are totally biased.
And this is probably the issue the most difficult to understand for foreigners.
However, it’s the key issue for the future of the country.
Basically, the King is 80 years old (december 2007). He’s going to pass away. This is not politics, nor disrespect, just nature…
Unfortunately, he has several health issues (read here).
Thanks to the “lese majeste crime”, the Junta and thai authorities have instrumentalized the image of the King, as a leverage (or as a shield…).
Therefore, the thai society can’t speak about it. The taboo is total.
Who will succeed this great monarch ? King Bhumibol has been ruling the country for 60 years (!). He’s seen as a living god.
Yes indeed, for us, descendants of the French Revolution and The US Declaration of Independence, it’s difficult to understand. We have the Queen of England, and some Prince in Monaco… Quite a different level…
Anyway, on the paper, the succession is simple : the Crown Prince.
The risk is high that the death of the King could “wake up” the figthing between many factions.
This is from my point of view the greatest risk for the future of Thailand.
And the problem is : no place for chance here.
It will happen. The only uncertainty is… when.
-Conflict in the South
The rebels, insurgents, terrorists, militants whatever we call them continue their actions : target killings, schools burning, bombings, road side bombings…
It’s also a liability for the future. No one can believe than the problems in the South can be solved quickly. And there is always the risk that the militant would extend their operations… to Bangkok.
In january 2009, the conflict enters in its fifth year…
To contact me :
cthai2 (at) yahoo. com