Thailand: Kangaroo court overturns democratic vote

Monday, March 31, 2014

Thailand's notorious Constitutional Court has once again worked hand in glove with the anti-democratic elite, ruling that the February 2 election was “unconstitutional”.

This is a re-run of the ruling that the 2006 elections were null and void. The 2006 ruling, along with anti-democrat protests, led to a military coup and the continuous destruction of Thai democracy.

Previous court rulings abolished the Thai Rak Thai Party of deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and brought down the elected Palang Prachachon Party government in 2008. Recently, the court also ruled that the government could not proceed with plans for a high speed rail link.

The excuse for wrecking the February 2 elections was that many constituencies had no candidates and were unable to hold elections. But there was no recognition of the illegal acts of the right-wing mobs led by the Democrat Party's Suthep Thaugsuban.

The mobs used violence to prevent voting and the unconstitutional boycott of the elections by the misnamed-Democrat Party because it knew it would lose.

Nothing was mentioned about the fact that the military, known for its repeated unconstitutional coups, stood by and did nothing to ensure security during the election.

In demanding a new election, the court said it did not care that Suthep’s mob had promised to disrupt any future vote.

The elite-appointed courts and “independent” bodies have been working hand in glove with Suthep’s mob. Along with the middle-classes, they hate the democratic process that gives the majority some say in politics. They view most ordinary Thais with contempt.

The anti-democrats now hope that throwing the ball back to the biased Election Commission and the government will allow more time to push out the elected government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. They hope to start a process of changing election rules to reduce democratic space.

Many academics and NGO leaders in the anti-democrat camp are hoping for a compromise and make dark predictions about “civil war”. But such a compromise would give the same weight to a minority of anti-democrats as to the majority of citizens who want democracy. A compromise between democracy and dictatorship can only lead to “half democracy”.

The only way to defend the democratic space is a total mobilisation of the pro-democracy Red Shirts and other progressive forces. But unfortunately the Red Shirts' United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship leaders cannot be relied on to do this.

[Reprinted from Red Thai Socialist.]

From GLW issue 1003