PM Thaksin Dissolves Parliment


Watching Thai politics has been an interesting experience the last few weeks, with growing calls for PM Thaksin to step down. As usual, I am at a huge disadvantage because there is not very much English language news. (The only news sources -- Bangkok Post and Nation newspapers -- have so many conflicts between them, it's hard to know which to believe.)

In any case, we were just watching the evening news here at home (in Thai), and it looks like Prime Minister Thaksin will dissolve Parliament tonight and call for special elections.

Although it's a bit surprising to come at this time, it's probably a shrewd move by Thaksin. The momentum lately has definitely been on the side of the anti-government camps. But by dissolving Parliament now, it seems to me that Thaksin's TRT party might still be able to hold a majority in the government after the special election.

It will be interesting to see how the leaders of this coming weekend's anti-Thaksin protests react to the news and how they conduct the protests.

(I have gotten in the habit of checking as soon as news breaks, and sure enough they are all over the story. Get more details on the home page.)

Update (8:45 PM): It's official. PM Thaksin just appeared on Thai TV to "apologize for returning the power to the people". Special elections for Parliament will be held on April 2.


Hi Stuart,

Thaksin's dissolve of parliament under this situation is the best choice for himself but certainly not for the country. We need the constitution amended to plug all the dangerous loopholes before a new election is held. With the lower house dissolved, that seems impossible now unless there is a "miracle". Do not rule out "miracle". It is sort of man-made and it really happens here in Thailand to surprise everyone when there appears to be no way out.

Bangkok Post and The Nation carry similar tones. Both are independent and do not agree with Thaksin's style of governing and conducts. The only differrence between the two is that The Nation is much more outspoken. Both are among the best sources of news and good commentaries. Anyway, this does not mean that their news must always be 100% accurate.

If you are keen at reading quality Thai language newpapers, try Matichon and Krungthep Thurakij. The least reliable, however, is the TV which has been either controlled or manipulated excessively by the government. The Thaksin regime is renowned for its heavy meddling with TV and radio media.

Sorry, I do not mean to politicize your blog. There are many people who still support Thaksin. Let me hope your blog is not turned into a fighting arena by the foes and fans of this man.

Hello K. Pipat. Thanks so much for your thoughts. I tend to think that Thaksin's calling for elections might be good for Thailand. His party certainly won't get 75% of the vote this time. With him weakened a little bit, then some of the Constitutional Amendments might be able to be pushed though the Parliament.

I'm not sure what you mean by "miracles", but I tend to believe that "miracles" are not necessarily good for democracy. Democracy is not about mob rule or making sudden, radical changes. It is slow and plodding, but that is OK. It takes a lot of time to make changes to a Constitution, but that is OK because these changes should be thoroughly thought out before they are implemented.

Anyway, unfortunately I am not good enough at Thai to read a Thai newspaper yet. Maybe someday...

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This page contains a single entry by Stuart published on February 24, 2006 7:58 PM.

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