Thailand’s Return to Democracy

Thailand’s Return to Democracy – Asia Sentinel, July 6, 2011
…The bigger question now is whether Thaksin is any closer to understanding the resentments he aroused when in power, not just from old elites but from those who felt the force of his authoritarian instincts. This was the man who undermined the generally excellent 1997 constitution by subverting the checks and balances which were supposed to have been built into it, muzzling the press as well as abusing power to generate wealth for his supporters. All that was in addition to his extra-legal campaign of the murder of so-called drug dealers and his brutal actions in the south, which further alienated the Malay/Muslim population.
Thaksin bears the marks of the authoritarian populist who believes that a popular mandate is all he needs, and that institutions should be subservient to that. When in power he was an admirer of Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad, a man who similarly undermined institutions such as the judiciary, used the power of government to reward supporters with fat contracts and extended the power of the central government against that of the states. Thaksin hoped to stay in power as long as Mahathir –22 years…

This entry was posted in Elections. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.