The signal that warns the government

From the Thai-language press: Thairath editorial: The signal that warns the government - November 2, 2005

Although the Election Commission has not officially declared the results of the by-election in four areas, the results show that TRT won in only one area. The opposition parties, Democrat, Chat Thai and Mahachon won in three areas. Thaksin Shinawatra and the leaders of TRT insisted that the result was not about the party, but about issues of individuals running in each area.

But most of the political observers believe this result reflects the political view and it has important meaning not only because Thai Rak Thai was defeated in Satun, it also defeated and lost it own seats in two provinces, Pichit and Uthaithani. TRT held onto only one seat in Singburi only. At the same time, the opposition party gained two more seats.

These are two significant seats in politics and strategy. The campaign of cooperating opposition parties begged people to vote to reach 125 opposition seats. After getting 2 seats, the opposition parties have votes enough to call a no-confidence debate on corruption issue and be able to dismiss ministers.

The votes that they received reflects the decreasing popularity of TRT in every area. Although Thaksin has come back to be the PM again in the second election, but he had little time for a political honeymoon with the voters as he had many problem and scandals. Among them are the accused corruption in CTX at Suwannabhumi Airport, corruption in many projects in buying-hiring, the unrest in the southern border provinces that spreads and becomes more violent, and the recurrent economic problems such as the high cost of gasoline, goods, and the current account trade deficit.

Those problems test the ability of the government in solving problems. In the past, the government could not solve problem such as unrest in the south and quelling corruption even though they used populist policies such as village funds, solving the poor problem and discharging debts. So there is a question as to whether any of the government's solutions to problems really sustainable.

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