Giles Ji Ungpakorn
The notorious Constitutional Court has once again worked hand in glove with the anti-democrats, ruling that the 2nd February 2014 election was “unconstitutional”. This is a re-run of the ruling that the election on 2nd April 2006 was 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 Taksin’s Thai Rak Thai Party 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 2nd February elections was that many constituencies had no candidates and were unable to hold elections. But there was no recognition of the illegal acts of Sutep’s mob in using violence to prevent voting and the unconstitutional boycott of the elections by the un-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 stated that it did not care that Sutep’s mob had promised to disrupt any future elections.
The elite appointed courts and non-“independent” bodies have been working hand in glove with Sutep’s mob. They along with the middle classes, hate the democratic process which gives the majority of the population 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 Yingluk and start a process of changing the election rules to reduce the 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 red shirts and other progressive forces. But unfortunately the UDD leadership cannot be relied upon to do this.