What’s going to happen next?

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Samak, the first nominee, was cut down. Somchai, the second nominee, was also thrown out of office. So it is time to bring in the third nominee generation.

(L) Chalerm Yoobumroong, (R) Mingkwan Sangsuwan

(L) Chalerm Yoobumroong, (R) Mingkwan Sangsuwan

We might have Chalerm Yoobamrung or Mingkwan Saengsuwan as prime minister because there are few guys left out there.

What’s going to happen next? God know at this point.

Samak, the first nominee, was cut down. Somchai, the second nominee, was also thrown out of office. So it is time to bring in the third nominee generation.

The coalition partners have glued themselves to each other like never before because they are in the same leaky boat.

Save for an extraordinary circumstances, the coalition partner still control a majority in Parliament. Over the next 30 days, they will try to open an extraordinary parliamentary session to pick a new prime minister.

Apart from restoring confidence and propping up the sagging economy, the new prime minister will face the most challenging task of bridging the political divide and bringing the country back to reconciliation.

We do not see any candidate from the pool of the coalition government who can rise to the occasion and do this job. On second thought, the new prime minister might prefer to continue to ride on the political divide.

The most unforgiveable mistake of Thaksin Shinawatra is that he has divided up the country. What’s the point of having democracy, which is fake anyway, when the people are up in arms against each other. But Thaksin is still being embraced by the forceful political distortion as champion of democracy.

If the Constitution Court’s rulings can serve as any guideline, Thailand’s democracy is founded on money politics. In the Election Commission’s investigation of the election fraud cases, the voters got only Bt50 or Bt100 each to vote for their candidates. It was known that the voters should get Bt500 each at least.

But the politicians, the local heads down to the canvassers took their share like a food chain system until the voters got only Bt50 each. But they were still happy to vote for the candidates entrusted on them. The rural Thais were honest. They spoke their will.

This is Thailand. This is Thai politics.   

The People’s Alliance for Democracy came into being as a reaction to money politics.

Then we had the Red Shirt pro-government supporters as an anti-thesis to the Yellow-Shirt anti-government protesters. The Red Shirt people took on the Yellow Shirt people with violent clashes, face to face or behind the back.

For the first time, we had an open secret of state-sponsored terrorism. The police were turning a blind eye to the daily killings and violence caused by the Red Shirt pro-government supporters.

But sadly, nobody was feeling bothered because they were so fed up with the Yellow Shirt protesters, who were the bigger monsters?

The politicians would never sacrifice. They played the brinkmanship game until the whole country fell apart, all the time claiming that they were voted in by the people.

Yes, your honour, you have been voted in by the people in your constituencies. We all know that. But if you can’t represent them or run the government, you have to know when to back off. The process of getting elected and the process of managing the country are different. This is not to mention the process of stepping down from power.

If Somchai were to dissolve Parliament during the crisis, like what the Army had suggested, he would have saved the country from this total ruin. He would have gained respect. And he would have avoided being booted out of office by the Constitution Court in disgrace.

With the government’s stubborness, the PAD could only have to develop itself into a fiercer monster to invite the Military to step in for a final check mate. It did not work out that way because the Military was also divided. 

Thailand has lost its innocence from this whole event. Let’s put a big mirror up front and look at ourselves. We can only see a reflection of a lost soul, ugly Siam, ugly Thailand.

All the time, the world has been watching Thailand in dismay. What’s going on in this smiley country? We have an average 12 million tourists visiting Thailand every year. So on an average one million tourists are in Thailand in a month. They are now trying to take the first flight home, probably, for many of them, never to return.

The tourism industry, which accounts for six per cent of Thailand’s GDP, is completely destroyed. This is Thailand’s high season. Most hotels and resorts will go empty. Restaurants will also have empty tables. The food will be left rotten in the refrigerators because there are no guests to serve.

Next year we might have only six million visitors if that is lucky enough. Many jobs will go with the recession. Many poor people will go hungry. Many crimes will rise.

So now it is time to pick up the pieces. But wait a minute, while we’re unsure how we may try to heal our bruised soul from this stormy episode, the coalition partners are planning the third generation of nominee government.

What can you say? Pity yourself? Pity the country?

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The anti-government protesters have declared victory and pledged to  withdraw their occupation of the Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang Airports beginning 10 o’clock Tuesday. They have already moved out of the Government House.

What the protesters have left behind are debris and bad bruises that would not be erased easily from memories.

The takeover of both airports have done incaculable damage to Thailand. Their target Thaksin Shinawatra is bad, but the People’s Alliance of Democracy has succeeded in making itself look worse.

In the end, it is not worth a dime, an utterly futile exercise.

With or without the Government House and airport occupation, the court of justice has continued to function well. We would still have arrived at this point.

The court of justice is strong and has been performing its duty in providing the check and balance at a time when all the other institutions are swept over.

Today, cargo have started to get air-lifted for the first time since the Suvarnabhumi has closed since last week. It won’t be until Dec 15 that the airports will resume normal operations.

The whole country is in ruins. And the coalition partners are plotting a comeback.

We’re back to square one. The deep political divide is still there.

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Reference 

Thannong Khanthong / Thai Talk

FURTHER READING

Mingkwan and Chalerm tipped for premiershipMP Suchart Lainamngern on Wednesday said Industry Minister Mingkwan Saengsuwan and Public Health Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung are top contenders to become the next prime minister.

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