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    Posted January 7, 2014 by
    NewsThailand
    Location
    BANGKOK, Thailand

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    WHY REFORM BEFORE ELECTION (2)?

     
    By Sen. Rosana Tositrakul; Jan 6, 2014

    There is a lesson from the bloody election in Bangladesh on Jan 5, 2014 when Bangladeshis’ lives were sacrificed because they have opposed the election from before till now. There have already been at least 150 people killed.

    The situation is similar to that in our country and that is the opposition party withdrawing from their candidacy. Bangladesh’s opposition parties withdrawing from their election will lead the country to a predicament of parliamentary failure. There is only one big party elected and they may not be able to form a parliament. It turns out that international observers including the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union do not accept the election in Bangladesh. It is also condemned by International Federation for Human Rights and Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center.

    Election in Thailand may also fail after Feb 2, 2014 just like the Bangladesh’s model. That is there will be only one big party forming a government without opposition parties or there may be bogus opposition parties so it appears as if there are both a government and an opposition.

    Or there may be another situation. They may not be able to form a parliament because there are less than 95% of members of parliament and this will result in political stalemate. A government and a parliament cannot be formed although there was an election.

    What is most worrisome is a situation like in Bangladesh where there are a lot of people killed from protests against the election. This must not happen in Thailand.

    Will the lesson in our neighboring country call attention to Yingluck’s caretaker government and Election Commission before they lead the country down the same path?

    Millions of people have rallied and demanded reform before election. This is direct democracy the government should listen to and compromise. They should not force an election on Feb 2 because it is not a mandated flight that cannot be postponed. There are actually a number of Sections in the Constitution that prescribe certain practices such as some laws with deadlines to complement the Constitution.

    Yingluck’s caretaker government insisting on an election by claiming Constitution regulations while postponement can be legally argued with no less weight is no different than a tale of a mother crab telling her babies to walk straight when she cannot do that herself.

    The caretaker government claims that the “election” is “to return power to people.” However, people suspect that this election is actually to “return power to politicians.”

    This is clearly evidenced because Pheu Thai party sends Yingluck Shinawatra as its number one party list candidate and asserts that it will continue the same policies. People distrust Pheu Thai party because the policies it wants to continue are:

    1) Policy to draft a new Constitution to strengthen the power of political parties.
    2) Policy to annul all the corruption charges and convictions of Pol. Lt. Col. Thaksin Shinawatra.
    3) Policy to seize Thai military in 2014 after all three of the military commanders are retired according to the scheme appeared on the Chong Cao audio clip.
    4) Policy to convert state power into equity for a family or to do business to get a return on political investment by carrying on the 2-million-million-baht Loan Project, the 350,000-million-baht Flood Prevention Project, and the Rice Scheme that has already used 800,000 million baht but that is still not enough to buy rice from Thai farmers because there has been import of 2 million tons of rice from Cambodia. It is estimated that there is corruption in the Rice Scheme worth more than 400,000 million bath, etc.

    In Thailand, political tradition during the era of People Party’s government and in countries where democracy is advanced, those government would have already resigned when they lost after votes of key bills such as the Amnesty Bill that went to the extreme of nullifying everything and the draft amendment of the Constitution regarding senate composition ruled as unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court. This government should have resigned. However, they deny political tradition and refuse to be politically accountable because ethical standards are currently declining in politicians.

    So as of today, people no longer trust Pheu Thai party with Pol. Lt. Col. Thaksin Shinawatra masterminding behind the scene to govern the country once again. This is because the party insists on having the same Prime Minister and policies that violate the rules of democracy.

    Insistence on repeated wrongdoings like this is no different than serial political crimes and people can no longer accept that. Therefore, they are demanding reform before election to get out of the vicious cycle of political business that is deeply rooted in the politics of Thai society.

    Rosana Tositrakul
    Senator from Bangkok
    Jan 6, 2014

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