Wednesday, September 20, 2006

New PM, New Constitution and New Elections for Thailand

That is the order in which events will follow at least according to General Sonthi Boonyaratglin who has told a news conference that new elections will take place in a year's time once a new constitution had been written and put in place. We will see. Thailand clearly needed to have its constitution amended having seen the chaos which followed the boycott of the last election by most of the opposition parties. It is certainly vital there are new democratic elections - these were scheduled to take place in October but will now be delayed. The only bit I have a problem with is the need for a new Prime Minister. It is clear that many people in Thailand object to Thaksin Shinawatra remaining as Prime Minister but this is not a justification for a military coup. If it was we could expect to see tanks outside 10 Downing Street imminently. Thaksin Shinawatra was elected by the people of Thailand and there are many people who wish to see him remain as Prime Minister despite his alleged failings. These people voted for him and his party and he achieved a significant majority mainly because the opposition parties refused to stand.

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