Executive Notes: The Yingluck Ruling in Context

A few executive notes for understanding the context of the ruling on Yingluck’s impeachment today:

1. The context of what is going on in Thailand is not about the junta creating reconciliation. Instead, it is the junta continually showing resolve to the Thai political world. This is the resolve that says Thaksin is finished and we have the will to resist him for the foreseeable future. This message is being sent with every one of their actions and their “reforms” of the Thai system.

2. The statements from Red Shirt leaders warning of riots and bloodshed are typical empty threats. The Red Shirt movement has never acted on impulse, but always as a political lever at key moments to support Thaksin aspirations. Any Red Shirt unrest would indicate a change from Thaksin’s long-standing strategy to do nothing to hinder the junta and thus delay a return to elections.

3. Yingluck, despite being a political unknown before the 2011 elections, turned out to be widely popular as a presidential and non-partisan (for the most part) prime minister. Kept away from cabinet meetings and unable to participate in controversial debates, her constant trips to the provinces as contentious decisions were being made in Bangkok both isolated her from political scuffles and endeared her to the people. She became a potent party figurehead who would be a strong draw in future elections.

4. Removing Yingluck from the next elections creates a quandary for Thaksin as he must find another figurehead to lead the Pheu Thai Party who will not be able to deviate from his control. Choosing anyone with their own political faction risks a drift from his agenda.

5. As much as today’s announcement is a test for anyone, it is a test for Thaksin. It indicates his ability to control his Red Shirt supporters. His strategy since the coup has been to do nothing that would give the junta a pretext to further delay elections. Protesting Yingluck’s impeachment or any other type of protest or violence in the interim contains no useful end game for Thaksin and the Pheu Thai. (We would expect some symbolic pro-Red, anti-junta protest symbol to emerge at some point to give the world something to focus on–perhaps the mass wearing of Khmer-style scarves or white handkerchiefs in a front shirt pocket.) The simple end-game for the Pheu Thai Party now is to to deliver a massive electoral majority at the next election and then use that reality to trump any of the junta’s constitutional and legal strictures on elected party rule.

After all these years, we are still in middle of the struggle for the future of Thailand. The present strengths of each side have yet to be fully tested and there are still many battles to be waged.

2Bangkok.com Editor Ron Morris’ book, The Thai Book: A Field Guide to Thai Political Motivations, is available in the Kindle Store.

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3 Responses to Executive Notes: The Yingluck Ruling in Context

  1. Wiz says:

    Here is the reason for this article: Gallows for Yinglux but ex House Speaker and ex Senator Speaker narrowly sparred
    Yinglux: 190 Impeached vs 18 Not Impeached vs. 8 Abstains 3 Dude ballots
    ex House Speaker: 100 Impeached vs 115 Not Impeached vs. 4 Abstains
    ex Senator Speaker: 95 Impeached vs 120 Not Impeached vs. 4 Abstains

  2. Wiz says:

    Isra News Agency pointing out that the reason behind the downfall of Yinglux – there are about 100 voters who want to give the real hell to all 3 stooges – but the extra 90 votes for impeachment are due to
    1. the threat from Ai Phichit and Legal team toward NLA that they are going to file lawsuit against NLA who vote for impeachment against Yinglux – causing the real outrage to NLA
    2. the Anti corruption decision to show that Ai Bungsong is guilty for faking G2G rice tradings and
    3. decision of attorney general and Anti corruption to file criminal charges against Yinglux on rice pledge – and the threats by Ai Oy and other PT men have outraged NLA
    4. Growing public pressure on NLA to prosecute Yinglux and the other 2 stooges
    18 votes no to impeach or abstains are PT-UDD supporters within NLA.

  3. Wiz says:

    We do know that Yinglux is going to be a fugitive like her brother and the whole Shinnwatra clan have to run away to live in exile as they cannot find any substitute to Yinglux – time is running out for Yinglux – Red Dragon lady and EE Photjamarn are in Junta’s as well as Democrat’s and PDRC’s cross hairs while EE Sudarat is too independent – they have less and less money to pay UDD men to mobilize while UDD leaders are persona non grata due to the ideologies of Overthrowing monarchy as well as the damages from Flodo of 2011 and rice pledge scandals along with other populist programs

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