Thailand’s Democrat Party, led by Abhisit Vejjajiva, has some hard choices to make.
So far, the party rejected Pheu Thai Party offer for a coalition to keep Thailand’s junta head, Prayuth, from being propped up as Prime Minister, rejected to strongly denounce the military dictatorship over Thailand, yet while that means he rejects democracy, he also says the party supports democracy.
Not many people globally, will understand the party or Abhisit, but for Thais, the party has always been known more as an “Opportunist” doing anything to be part of those that ruled Thailand, be it, democratic or authoritarian force.
Yet this time things appeared different. Prayuth has been in power for close to five years and if he is propped-up as Prime Minister, could be in power for a great deal more time. Polls after polls says more and more Thai are tired of Prayuth and his management performance of Thailand is also being widely accepted as mostly benefitting rich Thais. Then the corruption, to which was a major justification for Pratuth’s junta to be in power, is still there.
No one seems to know what Abhisit will do, and the question floating with most Thai political pundit is will he throw in the weight of the party to be on the side of Prayut.
(Up-Dated) Local media reports an internal rift at the Democrat party, that saw a supporters authoritarian, so i.e. the Prayuth junta and proponents of democracy struggling. Abhisit has also firm up on support for Democracy. But face many critics of the party’s past anti-Democracy moves. And the latest is a big-shot at the party, Warong, trashed Democracy.
The following is an analysis from Thai PBS (source).
What Abhisit Vejjajiva said just before the year-end and mercurial Chuwit Kamolvisit’s response to it might combine to give the former a way out of his political jam actually.
Abhisit vowed to quit as Democrat leader if his party wins fewer than 100 seats in the upcoming election, whereas Chuwit mocked that as impossible unless the Democrats publicly and unequivocally disown Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Abhisit’s dilemma is obvious.
If he refuses to support Prayut’s nomination as prime minister, expected anytime soon, he could open the door for his arch-rivals, albeit the Pheu Thai Party which is virtually controlled by the Shinawatras, to return to power. Backing Prayut and Abhisit will have swallowed a lot of things he has said and expose himself to great contempt.
But what if the pro-Prayut Palang Pracharat Party does not need Abhisit’s backing?
That can lead to another, more intriguing question: Can the Democrats be a “friendly” — albeit “constructive” — opposition party in case Prayut is the post-election prime minister?
A post-election Prayut government will certainly see Pheu Thai as another opposition party. With Prayut expecting solid support from the Senate, which is provisionally empowered by the Constitution to join the House of Representatives in electing the prime minister, he has a head-start of up to 250 votes. That means a Palang Pracharat impressive election performance coupled with support from some mid-sized parties can give him the 376 votes needed and send both the Democrats and Pheu Thai into the opposition bloc.