New slap in Samak’s face : the House has to postpone vote for PM, because no quorum

Everyday, there is a surprise. Thusday, it was “we’re going to vote again for Samak as Prime Minister”.

And 24h after, bada boom, big slap in Samak’s face. No quorum. Rebellion of some MPs. The House has to postone the vote for the new Prime Minister.

The comedy shall continue.

Thailand’s parliament postponed a vote to select a new prime minister after lawmakers boycotted the session to prevent the re-election of Samak Sundaravej, who was ordered to step down this week for hosting a cooking show.

“We don’t have enough participants,” parliamentary speaker Chai Chidchob told lawmakers. “I would like to postpone the meeting” until Sept. 17, Chai said.

Only 141 lawmakers showed up for the vote, short of the 235 needed for a quorum. Though Samak was nominated yesterday by his People Power Party, some of its members and coalition partners said they wanted a less controversial figure to help end the dispute. (Bloomberg)

As I told you, it’s surprise everyday !

Samak Sundaravej plans to resign as the People Power Party leader and will not accept his nomination as the next prime minister, a source close to him said Friday. (Nation)

So unless, we have another Z-turn or U-turn (always possible), Samak seems to have taken the right decision : after a first loss of face (Constitution Court’s ruling), then a second (no quorum today)… he probably thought that a third one (failure to get reelected by the House) would be… too hard to bare. 😉

Samak is finished. Just another victim of the thai political circus.

Who will be the next one ?

17 Responses to “New slap in Samak’s face : the House has to postpone vote for PM, because no quorum”

  1. 1 FDL 12 September 2008 at 11:55 am

    What do you think ThaiCrisis? Is Thailand governable?
    Is there a man or woman around somewhere who will emerge from the current mess to unify and inspire Thailand forward?

  2. 2 Bedwyr 12 September 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Not TC, but I will hazard a response.

    Thais do not know what to do with democracy. There is no education about democracy, obligation, ethics, responsibility, accountability or integrity in Thai schools.

    This is because the elite do not wish Thais to be educated. They wish Thais to be stupid and uneducated. That way they don’t complain about being poor and they accept the copious brainwashing that passes for culture in Thailand.

    So no, Thailand is not governable in any context that does not include the term ‘banana republic’. Not until the education thing changes and the elite change their spots. Which is not going to happen any time soon, and probably not before the Thai version of the long march


  3. 3 ThaiCrisis 12 September 2008 at 1:04 pm

    I’m highly pessimistic. I think you have probably noticed. 😉

    1-I think that nothing will be, nothing can be settled until… you know what.

    This is the core of my reading of the thai politicial situation. The whole situation. I think that more and more people agree with me on that point.

    2- this process can take long time. Long time.

    3- and even after, we can’t be sure that the dust will settle, on the contratry everything could get worse.

    4-but let’s assume that there is one providential man/woman. Now. He/she couldn’t do nothing because of point 1.

    You see, it’s like a vicious circle.

    From my point of view, in such difficult and complex situation, we can’t rule out an authoritarian periode.

    It’s the Burmese Scenario.

    At one point, I’m afraid that the whole situation could start to be violent (really violent, not like 2 weeks ago).

    I think we touch the very basic principle of physics : when the pressure is too high, risks of explosion increase…


    But again, I repeat, I’ve got very bad mood since a few months.
    So I might no be the best analysist on those matters…

  4. 4 loris 12 September 2008 at 1:49 pm

    I guess the PAD mob with the help of the court have won a victory,getting rid of Samak,who will they get rid of next time?

  5. 5 chinesethai 12 September 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Thaicrisis and others,

    I invite you to take a look at some pics below.

    Praya Gue Na Thaksin

    Praya = Lord, His Highness
    Gue = million (northern dialect)
    Na = paddy field
    Praya Gue Na is the title for the King of the Ancient Northern Thai Kingdom.

    A statue of Buddha in Northern Thailand
    Face purposely made in square shape

    Thaicrisis, I think Thailand would become more like the Philippines II.

  6. 6 ThaiCrisis 12 September 2008 at 1:56 pm

    CT… could you explain to us ? What do you mean with those pictures ?

  7. 7 thaichris 12 September 2008 at 2:23 pm

    I’m not so pessimistic. I know now Thailand for nearly 28 years and if I compare Thailand of 1980 with Thailand 2008, there is a huge development, not only economically but also politically. From a military dictatorship with curfews to an open society where everybody can express his opinion. The newspaper and TV in Thailand are the most open I meet in Asia, the people discuss political development in public and even rural areas start to get basic democratic structures. But it takes time. Europe took 150 years from absolute monarchy to stable democratic systems. In France the switched from monarchy to republic and back a number of time. Germany saw the worst dictatorship leading to world war two. Thailand got rid of absolute monarchy only 70-80 years ago. They need time to develop the structures, specially in there minds. The first democratic revolution took place 73/76 and the students from that period of time are the leaders of today. They learned from the mistakes of 1976 and try to avoide extensive violance. In these days, a new generation of students get there political education. And they learn from the mistakes of the current leaders. I compare PAD with the ecological groups (Green Party) in Germany. This group also started as an opposition outside the parliament. It took them 20 years to get into parliament and become responsible. There was an extreme fraction RAF (Rote Armee Fraktion) which used terrorist methods’ to achieve there targets. The government used un-democratic measures to fight the terrorism. But finally these developments lead to a stronger democratic system. I think, that the situation in Thailand today is comparable to the situation in Germany in the 70’s and 80’s. And I’m sure, that Thailand will take a similar development. The people throughout the country get more and more educated, the youth is engaged in politics again and the old lad’s are fading away. Thailand was always coming out of disasters like a Phoenix out of the fire. And I think, the capability to make the best out of the given will assure, that Thailand will develop steadily further, in economical, in social as well as in political sense. We just need to be aware, that such developments are never along a straight line but going in circles, tumbling left and right but finally leading to the correct target. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  8. 8 FDL 12 September 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Like TC I am getting this tingling sense that Thailand is opening (or getting set-up) itself up for a ‘Strongman’ emergence . . in the mold of S.Korea Park (not the Burmese model though) at the moment HMK departs from the Thai political scene.

    Thaksin almost succeeded to be that Strongman . . but he overreached and was prematurely overeager.

  9. 9 ThaiCrisis 12 September 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Indeed, Thaksin was, in a way, perfect for the job. But too greedy and too jai ron. 😉

    A litte bit more humble and give a little more time to time… then bingo… like in the song : “the winner takes it all”… He would have ruled for a long time.

    -> ThaiChris : I’m always defiant of historic comparisons on long timescale… Dangerous, even if we say that “history repeats itself”. Sure, but in similar conditions, with similar patterns.

    Take the Philipines for instance. After WWII it was the second economy in Asia.

    -young population
    -some background of westerns influences (spanish and US)

    Some positive factors on the paper to thrive, to developp. But then, accident. While Japan and South Korea, destroyed, managed to start again… Philipines went down. Slowly but surely.

    Why is that ?

    My point : there is no certainty, no “compulsory” patterns in the development of a country.

    The fact that France went through absolute monarchy, to revolution in 1789, then… Napoleon… then other accidents… to a peacefull democracy… doesn’t give us a lot of datas, I’m afraid, about Thailand’s political future.

    However, I would agree with you : we did have improvements in Thailand during the last 30 years (hopefully !).

    But are you sure that those improvements are coming from the heart of people… or are rather caused by the world surrounding Thailand ?

    Nowadays, a military coup needs to be “polite”. AKA the comedy of september 2006. The Junta was very polite indeed, with Surayud as PM… Such a sweet man. 😉

    Today, they know very well that they can’t stage a new coup. It would be a serious blow to Thailand’s image. Hence, the PAD, a “faux-nez”, and all the circus we have.

    But, you’re right, it’s better : they don’t shoot at people in the street like in 1992. And they don’t cut students into pieces like in 1976 (shame on Samak by the way, this fat liar who said that only 1 individual was killed in 76… it’s disgusting).

    But… again I’m wondering if it’s deeply entrenched in people… or just dictated by circumstances.

    The discussion (the hysteria I should say) I’ve heard in june about Preah Vihear Temple… gave me a little cold sweat… And are a proof that, eventually, things are still more or less the same.

    Stupid nationalism, ready to be used by any “strongman”.

    The violence is there, behind, ready to explode.

    To have mobile phones, pickup trucks, BTS line, and all the marvels of modern world , are probably necessary but not sufficient.

  10. 10 chinesethai 12 September 2008 at 5:05 pm

    I tried to post a comment but it didn’t get through. I don’t know why. I posted a pic of a drawing of Thaksin impersonating the King of the Ancient Kingdom of Lanna Tai, encompassing Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

    Anyway, you know why the Philippines went down slowly and surely? It did not go through a process of industrialization, so did not Thailand and Indonesia.

    South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and now China, regardless of their regimes, have been thriving.

    What I mean by the term ‘industrialization’ is not merely having factories and skyscrapers, or people carrying mobile phones and laptops all over. South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore are pretty much competitive in terms of developed human resources and technologies. China is going down the same path. Why? C&D = Copy and Development. It is the prerequisite for R&D.

    Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia (TPI) has not had one. Or we could go as far as Argentina, it has not had one either, although one used to believe Argentina destined to become a first-world country should have been a sure bet because it is composed of mostly European population.

  11. 11 chinesethai 12 September 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I forgot to say that industrialization means way of thought. How people in a culture think makes a difference.

  12. 12 ThaiCrisis 12 September 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I totally agree with you. C&D -> R&D.

    And this is of course the result of a political will.

    By contrast… Thailand made a slightly different choice… to remain largely agricultural.

    Thailand is so proud to be the “rice bowl” of the world… First exporter in the world.

    That’s nice. But this come, I think, at a price,a heavy price : to still have 49 % (!) of the total labor force in agriculture. It’s way too much.

    Too many families, with too smalls farms, making small income…

    This is not of course a good fertilizer if I may say for developpment.

    This is all the debate around the “sufficiency economy”…

  13. 13 Sonnie 13 September 2008 at 12:23 am

    I think politics in Thailand are ruled by mob, the educated and the elite.

    And if I understood the news correctly, this group would like to remove, if not lessen the political participation of the poor

  14. 14 thaichris 13 September 2008 at 2:36 am

    Sonnie, this is not exacly what the y say. They say, the less educated are not yet ready for democracy. They need to be educated in order to understand the impact of there vote ad to be able to decide freely and not according to the ‘head of town’. Influencal groups used these ‘less educated’ to buy themself into power. As these ‘less educated’ mass (and I don’t talk about ‘1 student 1 tamboon’) have been helpfull for these influencal groups, they kept the rural population stupid. The idea behind 70:30 or 50:50 or any of these other models isto keep these influencal groups away from power in order to be able to start an ducation programm across the country (Abhisit talked about this resently).

    The danger is, that the the group geting into power don’t want to step back when the population is ready for democracy. There are such samples all over the world. On the other hand, there is a positive sample here in Thailand. Paa Prem leaded the country from military dictatorship to the first real free election in 1988. And he retired when the new governement was established in 1988.

    But I agree that the risk of failure is huge. And I don’t think, that this idee of 70:30 ever becomes reality.

  15. 15 chinesethai 13 September 2008 at 5:46 am

    Your explanation is thorough. I can’t agree more with you. The risk is huge.

    I am still glad Thailand remains largely agricultural. By talking about industrialization, I did not mean that Thailand must abolish its agriculture but that a Thai government with a political will equip the poor with “relevant” education (the right way of thinking) that lifts productivity and enables them to protect themselves against the selfish middlemen, village chiefs, or any local mafias linked to national political businessmen. At last, they would not fall prey to those selfish, greedy monsters again.

    Taiwanese farmers are the role model. Their success is the result of the cooperation between the Chinese Nationalists (KMT) and Taiwanese peasants, without any foreign involvement. They are very self-sufficient. Just look inside Asia.

    I wish that His Majesty acts quickly and decisively to save Thailand now. There is no need to care about all the loud noises from outside of Thailand. Yes, Monarchy might not be perfect. But I believe His Majesty can leave a lasting legacy that the next generation of Thais will hail and talk about in good light forever.

  16. 16 Bedwyr 13 September 2008 at 11:14 am

    ChineseThai; I hope you are prepared for a long wait. And the next question would be: why should one expect a long wait?


  1. 1 Global Voices Online » Thailand protests: Conflict of elites Trackback on 16 September 2008 at 3:00 am

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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