Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Well Ahead On Points

Days after failing to disrupt the polls, Thailand's opposition Democrat Party will now challenge the “disputed” election in court on Tuesday. Thai anti-government protesters have been camped out in Bangkok for weeks hoping to bring down the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, and it seem they are getting desperate.

For this, you have to give credit to PM Yingluck. For all the bluster of protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, the political movement in the courts, and even the clear bias of the Election Commission, PM Yingluck has held firm on holding elections and she is now reaping the rewards.

When anti-government protesters blocked polling stations and the Election Commission refused to open polling stations, they overplayed their hand. Ordinary Thais were enraged by these actions and clashes have occurred between them and the anti-government protesters. Clashes on the streets of Thailand may not be new but these aren’t red shirts supporters of the government. The yellow shirt anti-government protesters are now fighting against ordinary Thais who had not been involved in the clashes so far. That’s what will happen when you try to take away people’s right to vote and if this was her game-plan, then it is one PM Yingluck had played to perfection.

It seems that while Mr. Suthep has been riling up his supporters, PM Yingluck has been targeting the middle ground and it is a strategy that’s working. So successful has she been that analysts are now saying the unthinkable; Mr. Suthep's movement is now crumbling. New agencies said that the protesters have dwindled to only about 3,000; a far cry from the hundreds of thousands that were there just a few weeks ago and so unpopular are they that some Thais have been quoted saying they will never vote for the opposition Democrat Party ever again.

So I see the court challenge of the Democrat Party as a desperation move and even then my bet is on PM Yingluck. The courts will rule in his favor but after seeing off Mr. Suthep’s movement, I just can’t see how former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva (leader of the Democrats) can take down PM Yingluck especially when you consider how unpopular his party is now. The only hope they have is a military coup which is an irony because Mr. Abhisit is the leader of a political party called the Democrats.

Even then, once election is held again, the Democrat Party would probably be slaughtered at the polls. The war in Thailand may not be over, but PM Yingluck is so well ahead on points it might as well be GAME OVER! 

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