Thailand to see more political conflicts in 2013

Bangkok (The Nation/ANN) - Thai politics in the new year will be marred by intensifying conflicts caused by both political division and economic problems, political veterans have forecast.

Former Democrat leader Banyat Bantadtan, now a senior party MP, believes the country's gloomy political outlook is a result of four factors that cropped up last year.

The first was the government's adoption of an authoritarian appro-ach in its administration against political opponents - such as the move to press murder charges against Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and senior MP Suthep Thaugsuban.

"Legal experts all said that these charges are far-fetched. Another incident was the violent crackdown on protesters who were led by General Boonlert Kaewprasit. History shows that wherever there is oppression, there will be more struggle for justice," he said.

The second factor was the rising cost of living and plummeting prices of agricultural produce that have driven street protests by farmers. "If the government ignores the problem, we will witness more rallies this year," he warned.

The third factor was the push to amend the entire Constitution by using a public referendum to legalise the move and claiming the current charter was derived from a dictatorship. This could be another root of political conflict that may turn violent because the public believes the government has a hidden agenda, Banyat said.

The more arrogant and demanding red-shirt movement, he said, was another key factor that would shape political landscape.

If these four factors continue this year, he believes there will be more anti-government rallies.

"The charter amendment and the authoritarianism will be a more powerful catalyst than the other two factors that could bring about political chaos," Banyat said.

Asked if he thought Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra could handle the situation and rein in the red shirts, Banyat said her brother would. "The government has been given the nickname 'First Brother's Government', so 'the brother' will have to rein them in."

As for how "the first brother" would orchestrate political moves this year, Banyat said what the PM's brother Thaksin Shinawatra had done indicated a man of multiple personalities.

"He wants to go on the offensive and fulfil his personal desire, but deep down, he knows if he does that, he will rock the government's stability. So he also tries not to rock the boat so the government holds on to power as long as possible," Banyat said.

Chief opposition whip Jurin Laksanawisit, another senior Democrat, said the government would be a key factor on whether the country suffered political turmoil or not. He listed factors that would cause a crisis of public faith:

the government breaking the law or allowing corruption;

the PM showing a lack of leadership;

the PM avoiding responsibility and failing to keep her promise of not taking revenge;

the PM allowing interference by power from outside the country;

the PM managing national affairs for her own group of supporters.

"If the government creates conditions that lead to political conflict, such as amending the charter to whitewash culprits, [or] returns the confiscated money and political rights to a certain group, the country will likely experience political turmoil," he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana said it was likely that amending the charter would take longer than one year. He said that to complete a public referendum alone could take a whole year. The ruling Pheu Thai Party will discuss the matter next Sunday and Monday to gather ideas from all sides.

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • 13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital
    13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital

    Thirteen of the 15 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who survived the bloody firefight with Muslim rebels in Mamasapano last month are ready to go home after a month of medical treatment, a police official said yesterday. Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the two remaining survivors will have to stay in hospital for further treatment, one of whom has shrapnel embedded near his spine. One of the two SAF commando survivors is still …

  • US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea
    US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea

    The United States has deployed its newest and most advanced surveillance aircraft for patrols over the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. The P-8A Poseidon aircraft completed more than 180 flight hours from Feb. 1 to 21 from Clark Air Base, according to the US Navy’s 7th Fleet. …

  • Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2
    Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2

    How well does this P3,999 offering from an underdog in the local mobile industry stack up against the competition? Let's find out. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options