Democracy: Why stage a Military Coup when Political Coup in Thailand “Easier”

By Frank, this blog political journalist

Yesterday Anupong, the Thai army chief,  said there is no reason for a coup. But politically, the government coalition, Chart Thai Pattana Party is staging a “Political Coup” against the Thai prime minister, Abhisit. This follows revolt by another coalition party, Phum Jai Thai.

A Failed Political System:

Since a group of military officers took power from an absolute monarchy system some 77 years ago, Thailand had had 18 constitutions and 25 coups. Today marks the 3 year anniversary of the last coup that still sees the military in much control of Thailand today. In fact, the military called in a key political partner of Taksin, Nevin, and got hih to defect Taksin to join Abhisit of the Democrat Party to form the government.

On average, there is a coup in Thailand every 3 years:

The key threat to the right wing control, is the Red Shirt of Taksin, that while it is about Taksin, is also about Democracy, liberty and social justice. The Red Shirt are planning a massive protest today against the government, with expected participants to reach 100,000 Thais.

“There is no reason for a coup,” said Anupong, the Thai top military brass, yesterday.

Foreign intelligent analyst says Anupong fear the Red Shirt greatly, as indicated by the invocation of an emergency decree every time the Red Shirt gathers to protest the government.

“Taksin still calls the shots in Thailand, because one order from Taksin to copy the Yellow Shirt tactics of occupying government installations, and it is game over, right wing loose,” said a foreign intelligent analyst.

Righ Wing Internal Struggle:

Abhisit after taking control, had been trying to lessen that control and it caused rumors of another coup to occur during the past two months, namely over the appointment of the top police.

That appointment bought Abhisit close to loosing power as Phum Jai Thai revolted against Abhisit with an appointment of their own-that have seen Phum Jai Thai and the military called “A New Power Center” in Thailand.

Now another major government coalition party have joined the Phum Jai Thai in a political coup against Abhisit. Abhisit is expected to be weakened further.

Intelligent analyst told this blog that Anupong received “Special Orders from the Highest Places” not to stage a coup. The Thai minister of defense, had been calling for a coup, but after Anupong received the special order, he abandoned the coup. Anupong is considered a Royalist, but also one of the most pragmatic soldier in Thailand.

Extremist Waiting in the Wings:

Anupong had demonstrated both caution against going too far right as it had backfired and hurt the Thai Royalty system as the extreme righ alienated more and more Thais. And at times, Anupong also supports strong Royalism thrust.

However, in the recent military re-shuffle, Anupong got his supporters who will have medium-term control of the military to take control. Some of these appointment, as some intelligent analyst indicates, are not pragmatic-but are extremist.

“There will be a time for some dust to settle in the military,” said some intelligent analyst.

Military on the Verge of a Coup:

Apart from the special order, as this blog reported earlier, the potential of the military coup depends on the amount of resources going to the military and the pressure exerted on the military. In the past week, the Abhisit government rushed out several military spending packages and the pressure on the military eased-with the abandoning of the appointment of the top police that went against the military wishes.

Political Coup Explodes as a Result:

However, only hours after Anupong announced that there will be no military coup, a sign that the risk in the breaking up of the right wing coalition has subsided and will not break out of control, the Chart Thai Patana Party took it as a signal that “All is Safe.”

That all is safe signal, saw the head of the Chart Thai Patana Party, a coalition of the government, holding an unscheduled press conference and at the press conference, it trashed the Abhisit Democrat Party handling of the Thai Cambodian crisis.

“I want to warn the Democrat Party, particularly its foreign minister, Kasit, who has a special relationship with the Yellow Shirt, to start controlling the behavior of the Yellow Shirt,” said the head of the Chart Thai Patana Party.

Chart Patana Party is a major coalition party that had kept a low profile and seldom express displeasure of Abhisit and the Democrat Party.

Its move to openly criticize the Democrat Party through a major press conference, signal that the party may be joining the Phum Jai Thai party in the internal coalition political coup against the Abhisit rule of Thailand.

Abhisit is All about Solidifying Democrat Party Position:

The Abhisit government is made up of three major political parties and those are the Democrats, Phum Jai Thai, and the Chart Thai Patana Party. Abhisit relation with Phum Jai Thai has soured and it appears now also with Chart Thai Patana.

Apart from the controlling the road building resources that stands at about US$6 billion, Chart Thai Pattana also feels threatened by the recent appointment of provincial governors that sees Phum Jai Thai solidifying its position and also with the de facto alliance between the Thai police and the Phum Jai hai party. Both are politically important apparatus.

The situation is now made much worse, on the political front:

And as the right wing coalition deteriorates, intelligent analyst told this blog that Anupong may have little choice but to stage a coup, special order or no special order, because “Keeping the right wing agenda” going, is the prime objective of the current mainstream political thinking in Thailand.

Red Shirt “Dead Serious”

Meanwhile, Taksin and his coalition of Democracy, Liberty and Social Justice, just keeps getting stronger and stronger, as indicated by polls that says more Thais now supports Taksin than Abhisit.

Over more, the Red Shirt appear to have abandoned short-term political gains and are now “Dead Serious” about laying down medium to long-term foundation with the establishment of Red Shirt school, that is targeted to propagate Democracy, Liberty and Social Justice to about 1 million Thais in the next 3 years.

Taksin continues to enjoy strong support in E-Sarn and the North, with many intelligent analyst believe if and election occurs, Taksin will still win out-right majority. However, as expected, the right wing are trying to amend the current military constitution, to make it more easy for the right wing to win.

Forecast: Still a Failed Political System:

In combination with everything else, some intelligent source have told this blogs for months now, that while the challenge for Taksin has never ben greater, overall, the Thai political system continues to fail-as few Thais in power are serious about Democracy, Liberty and Social Justice-opting instead for Royalism and Nationalism.

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