Voting

Should 5% hold the country to ransom?

Numnual  Yapparat

In the February 2014 election, 44.7 million people were eligible to vote. On the day, 20.4 million cast their vote. Kasian Tejapira who is a lecturer at Thammasat University has estimated that there were about 12 million people who could not vote because Sutep’s mob were blocking polling stations and using violence to disrupt the election. It means that there were approximately 32 million in total who wanted to vote. This compares to 35 million people who voted in 2011.

It is absolutely clear that majority of Thai people disagree with Sutep’s demands to scrap the elections. Yet Sutep and the Democrats continue to lie that the majority are against the elections.

If we analyse the 20.4 million votes that were cast on 2nd February, there were 3.4 million “No Votes”. This is where the electorate can place a cross in a special “no vote” box. Another 2.5 million ballot papers were “spoilt ballots”. These could be mistakes or protest votes. If we generously assume that most of these spoilt papers were in fact no votes, it means that 14.5 million people voted for parties which were participating. Remember that the Democrats boycotted the election. The likelihood  is that the majority voted for Yingluk’s Pua Thai Party, but we do not know the exact results yet. What about Sutep’s supporters? People who wanted to pursue Sutep’s solution made up only 5 million. They are a clear minority in the country.

What is happening now? The result of the vote has been distorted especially by academics and elite figures those who are on Sutep’s side. The plain facts above show us that the majority of people in Thailand support the election and want democracy. They do not want the election rules to be fixed in favour of the Democrat Party before holding elections. But no doubt they are in favour of further political reforms to improve democracy. Should 5% hold the country to ransom and seek to destroy Thailand’s democratic space?

Photo credit: from google

 

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