TDRI joins the anti-democratic reactionaries

Numnual  Yapparat   

The neo-liberal Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) is suggesting that “reforms” need to be made before holding new elections. This apes the demands of the reactionary protesters led by Sutep Tuaksuban.

     Somchai Jitsuchon, from the TDRI has “offered” a way out from the current Thai political conflict. He said that so far, all the political reform proposals, from several fractions, have not yet addressed the real problems. According to him there are two critical issues.

First, the many proposals did not represent the real demands from all sides of Thai society. A Lack of consensus about political reform would lead to fresh and endless crises.  Second, Thailand is lacking a political mechanism to take reform proposals into account. There is no law to force the government to do so unless people come out on the street to raises their own demands.

Somchai suggested a Political Reform Assembly (PRA) alongside a Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA). The PRA should function before and after the election.  However, the PRA should work as an advisory body because the CDA should make the decisions about political reform. Somchai suggested that the PRA should be made up of appointed experts [people like himself ;)]. He went on to say that the CDA be elected. In the process of writing the new constitution the CDA would collect all demands about political reform. However, the new constitution must give power to “minority groups” (presumably the pro-dictatorship middle class) to exercise their power in order to monitor the government on the various issues such as corruption etc. However, he did not mean that the so-called “minority groups” should include ethnic minorities, GLBT groups, the very poor, or people who want to see a republic.

TDRI is a right-wing think-tank. It has been advocating neo-liberal policies for years. It always stands against policies that would benefit workers, farmers and poor people.