Politics: Bangkok Post on “Confusing & Festering Scenarios”

By Ranger, Thai Intel’s political journalist

Yesterday, local newspaper went reporting on the Thai Stock Market big show-off event, where institutional investors globally attended.

In one of the reports, it quoted Phatra, a local brokerage house as saying, “Most foreign brokers are of the opinion that the Democrat Party will win the election, but Phatra thinks it will be a close election.”

In fact, from Thai Intel’s following of foreign brokers morning news-what Phatra said is right! Most foreign brokers truly believe that the Democrat Party will win the election-and having been saying exactly that for quite a while now.

One foreign broker, wrote quote:

“The populus related spending by the Democrat Party is massive and have won voters all over Thailand.”

But in fact, the election is just occurring now-when the economy is slowing, cost-of-living is increasing, and the government running out of money to spend.

The Bangkok Post, a few days ago, in its report of the story on Thailand’s purchase of submarines, quoted an academic who said, quote:

“The submarine purchase is part of the populus program to win over soldiers.”

It is clear, that the Democrat Party is using populus policies-to reach into every little nuke and crannies of Thailand-like civil servants salary increase, teachers salary increase, state enterprise workers salary increase, government official salary increase, soldiers salary increase-all of that, on top of massive pupulus policies on practically everything-like endless subsidy of everything.

Then off course, the constitutional changes to wipe out some 20-30 Pheu Thai MPs, the massive public relations spending, and also the censorship and blocking of opposition media-along with using the Thai justice system-to manipulate public perception and the use of Thai royalty members to promote itself.

Democratic activist, simply say, the next election-is non-democratic and already, un-fair. To put it bluntly, many say the election is “Fixed.”

There have been many polls, one saying the Democrat Party, indeed is leading massively-like all over the place. Then there are other poll that say most of the Thais have no color.

Thai Intel would like to cautious our readers, that in previous elections, lots and lots of poll were made to forecast the election result.

Many were made-but none, came close to hitting the mark-meaning, Thailand is a very non-poll friendly country. The only poll that ever comes close are the polls done by the Thai police, who just ask the police who will win the election.

But the point is, right now “The Timing Play” is crucial to every party and it indicates-an extremely hotly contested for election.

The Democrat Party is going all out, for example-promising to raise salary in Thailand by 25%, much to the shock of the business sector and is promising to spend US$ billion on water ways all over Thailand-to help farmers.

The Pheu Thai Party is clearly into the “Timing Game Play” also, saying it will announce things like election policies and who will be the head of the Pheu Thai Party, when the timing is right-meaning, so it will not be easily countered and letting the Democrat Party-do all the shadow punching first.

Yet, it is hard to argue with foreign brokers!

One of them, in particular is CLSA. And if anyone knows anything about CLSA-and that it is usually on the money in Thailand. And the Thai press reports that CLSA sees the Democrat Party winning the election.

The following is from the Bangkok Post:

Confusing scenarios emerge as political uncertainty festers

* Published: 28/03/2011 at 12:00 AM

* Newspaper section: News

After Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva announced the House dissolution was set for the first week of May to set the stage for a general election the following month, there have been some interesting _ and weird _ developments in Thai politics.

One of them is the belief that there may not be a general election in the near future after all. Those holding this belief think that an election cannot solve Thailand’s political problems _ on the contrary, it will lead the nation into another crisis.

This group believes there will be another coup d’etat, although army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha promises to support the result of the election and to stay politically neutral.

Another theory backing up predictions that the poll will not go ahead is that election commissioners will resign due to pressure from certain people who do not want an election to take place.

Election commissioner Sodsri Satayathum has applied for a seat in the government’s Law Reform Commission, although the selection procedure has yet to begin.

Theorists believe the mass resignation of election commissioners will cripple the oversight body and thus disrupt the poll to such an extent that cancellation becomes inevitable.

Another unusual development comes from the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which says it will encourage people to cast a “no vote” in the election and demand an unelected prime minister by the virtue of Section 7 of the constitution.

The PAD has no faith in election procedures and has a strongly negative attitudes towards many politicians.

But Thai society must reject those who disapprove of elections and the concept of people’s power, and their unconventional proposals to solve political problems.

Thailand has been given ample reasons not to support such an approach, and while it could be argued that elections are not the be-all and end-all of democracy, they remain the best opportunity for ordinary people to play a part in their country’s political landscape.

The problems of vote-buying and voter influence should be addressed at their roots and not by attempting to abstain from elections altogether.

Meanwhile, the opposition seems utterly assured of success at the polls, but not of forming the next government. The Puea Thai Party, backed by its red shirt allies, strongly believes it will win, but is already projecting a conspiracy theory that the ruling Democrats and their coalition partners will team up with an as-yet invisible power group to form a plot preventing Puea Thai from taking control and returning it to themselves.

Should Puea Thai fail for any reason, this pre-emptive claim could serve as a ready-made excuse for the red-clad United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) to rally against an unfavourable election outcome.

But even a Puea Thai victory may spur red shirt protests for other reasons.

For example, if Puea Thai wins but is unable to find a partner to form the next government, UDD demonstrators may rally at the house of Newin Chidchob, de facto leader of the Bhumjaithai Party, or the house of Banharn Silpa-archa, de facto leader of the Chart Thai Pattana Party, to pressure them to join forces with Puea Thai.

To prevent post-election chaos, political parties _ especially the Democrats and Puea Thai, as the two leading contenders _ should offer reassurances to the public that they will respect the rules of the poll, and its results.

Puea Thai must promise to back off if it fails to form a government within one month of the election, as stated in the constitution, to allow other parties to form a government.

The Democrats must also declare that they won’t form the government if they do not secure the majority of votes.

If the rules are adhered to and the tradition of the party with the biggest proportion of votes forming the government is maintained, then the nation could be spared another political crisis.

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