Oolitics: Why did the Thai prime minister, Abhisit, call for a general election?

  • By Ranger, Thai Intel’s political journalist

Why did Abhisit dissolved the house?

If one was to trace Abhisit rise to power, that rise is characterized as highly corrupt power grab.

When the Yellow Shirts were protesting against the now opposition that was the government, the Democrat Party bused massive numbers of the party supporters to join the Yellow Shirts protest. Then with that destabilization, the military engineered a parliamentary fix with Abhisit as the head of the government-with Abhisit never admitting that military fix.

If we were to apply the same “Corrupt Power Grab” character to the current situation, if follows that:

Failure at Management:

The severe consumer good shortages and high price, coupled with a tanking Thai competitiveness and corruption at record high, have all greatly hurt Abhisit’s popularity. That also is coming on top of a time, where Thai GDP growth is expected to fall to ABOUT 3%-4% this year, from about last year 8%.

The Good Can Do No Wrong:

Then with the royalist, there is the saying that “The Good Can Do No Wrong.” However, there has been rumors now for about 3 months that the royalist are greatly disappointed with the Abhisit government-as the Thai polls says current corruption is the highest in Thailand’s history with international ranking saying it is the worse in recent times. Then alcohol consumption, teen age pregnancy, women in prison and suicide rate in Thailand, is all one of the worse globally.

Making Enemies:

Then there is an old saying that the Democrat Party will do anything to remain in power and also anything to remain popular.  This means that eventually, the Democrat Party will turn everyone into its enemy. Thus relationship between the Democrat Party and its coalition has been rocky at best. Then even the military have started to be alienated out by the Democrat Party, despite the funding the government gives to the military-with for example, the Democrat Party Finance Minister saying he prefer to see the military getting less funding.

Troubled Political Landscape:

Then the arch royalist and nationalist, Yellow Shirt is protesting. The Red Shirts are gaining strength in their protest and resolve. Then numerous other protests relating to a wide variety of issues is taken place. All of this indicates a general dis-satisfaction. But worse, globally, food price have risen, hitting Thailand with higher inflation but at the same time, local farmers continues to get low price.

Election Prospect:

Abhsit, on top of it all, believes he can win the election. Given the above factors as the foundation, Abhisit have built up the Democrat Party with massive subsidy and social freebies, along with the changing of the constitution to give it an election advantage. Then the opposition and Red Shirts continue to be weakening by a selective use of lese majeste and massive censorship of internet and community radio. Then ultimately, Taksin, opposition and the Red Shirts are seen as the “Arch Enemy” of the royalist , elite and military rulers of Thailand-and thus, the military is always ready to prop up the Democrat Party.

Thus, if one apply the fundamental of Abhisit, namely, “A Highly Corrupt Power Grab” character, one can see that the situation continues to deteriorate for Abhisit, however, Abhisit probably feel that had has laid the foundation to win the re-election, and given the royalist, elite and military having little alternative, except for a coup-Abhisit have opted to dissolved the house.

Abhisit hope, it seems clear, is that the election, will give him continued legitimacy.

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