Friday, January 31, 2014

Tensed elections in Thailand

This Sunday, Thailand is organizing general elections, that will take place in a tensed environment following months of political unrest. Around 10,000 security forces will be at work in the next days, trying to guarantee a peaceful electoral process, while the representatives of the opposition are announcing mass demonstrations and made appeal for boycott. 
The elections were called by the prime minister in office, Yingluck Shinawatra, the first woman holding such a position in the democratic history of the country, following the unrest from the last months, that affects the economy and tourism of the country. Shinawatra, originally from the North of the country, was accused of trying to pass a law that might made possible the return to Thailand of the exiled tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin, who is in exile shortly after being changed through a military coup in 2006, is still considered a powerful influence due to his numerous businesses still operating in the country, especially in the North and North eastern area. I personally remember how years ago I visited this region and was explained at a silk factory how grateful people are to Taksin for his successful companies employing people and giving them various benefits.
The representatives of the opposition, especially Suthrep Thansuban, a former deputy prime minister for the Democrat Party, called for a boycott of the elections accusing the prime-minister of being a sock puppet of the tycoon.
Thailand went through similar unrest almost 4 years ago, when around 90 people died following the conflicts between the intervention forces and the demonstrants. 
This Sunday early general elections are the 25th since 1933 and organized according to the 2007 Constitution. The votes will be given for electing new members of the House of Representatives. 

No comments: