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What will happen?

December 23, 2007

Thailand goes to the polls today and indeed as this post goes up it will be about 3pm Bangkok time.

 So what will the outcome be?  The two largest parties will be the PPP and the Democrats.  The key question will be whether or not on of those parties manages to get over half the seats.  I suspect that this is unlikely but if either of them do then it will most probably be the PPP.  If the PPP were to win the election then it will be interesting to see how the military junta reacts to the election of a party which basically espouse the same policies as those espoused by former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his now disbanded Thai Rak Thai.  The potential for further trouble on the streets of Bangkok and more military intervention is definitely there.

 If no single party gains a majority then it will remain to be seen how the smaller parties line up in support for either the PPP or the Democrats.  Again the potential for trouble on the streets is still there.

 The one thing this election has shown is that Thailand is still as politically divided on Thaksin Shinawatra and the policies that he and his former party pursued as it was on the day the military took over.  This election will not resolve that divide and I will not be surprised to see the troops on the streets again.  I hope I am wrong and happy to eat humble pie if I am!

Meanwhile the King has “urged the armed forces and police to be a strong pillar in stabilising the country” and Human Rights Watch have gone on record with concerns that military interference has undermined the elections.  For those who are interested I have added an RSS feed from the Bangkok Post to my sidebar.

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Categories: Thai Politics, Thailand
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