Thailand’s political crisis: Deadlock – The Economist, December 14, 2013
[Thanks to Tom for pointing this out.]
…Yet if Ms Yingluck is going wobbly, her core “red shirt” supporters, those thousands of activists loyal to Mr Thaksin, certainly are not. They have vowed to defend the democratically elected government. There are plans, should Ms Yingluck fall, to move the government to the red-shirt heartlands in the north and north-east as a counterweight to Mr Suthep’s insurrection in the capital and the south. That would further entrench the bitter divisions between the two parts of the country, divisions that some argue have now made Thailand virtually ungovernable.
But if Ms Yingluck can make it through to next year, she knows that she has a good chance of winning a fresh mandate at the polls. Indeed, a chief reason why Mr Suthep and his allies do not accept an election as the way out of the impasse is that they would probably lose. After all, the Pheu Thai party and its earlier incarnations, all led by Mr Thaksin or his retainers, have won the last five general elections, the latest by a big margin. For however vast the anti-government crowds are in Bangkok and certain southern Thai cities, out in the populous rural north and north-east it is a different story. There Mr Thaksin and his party long ago captured the votes of millions of relatively poor rice farmers, and they have been stacking up the parliamentary majorities ever since…
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