BY INVITATION

Thailand's dangerous lack of viable opposition

Rather than plotting to overthrow the Yingluck government by extra-parliamentary means, opposition groups should plan to do so through the ballot box.

 
-- ST ILLUSTRATION: MANNY FRANCISCO

AFTER almost two years of relative calm following the tumultuous years after Thailand's last military coup in September 2006, Thailand's political temperature is rising again. The government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has suffered a series of policy setbacks. It is also losing momentum as it approaches the midpoint of its four-year term. As government missteps become more frequent, the lack of a viable alternative has become more obvious.

This is an opportune time for the government's opponents. The coalition in and outside Parliament arrayed against the Yingluck government and its master and commander, militarily deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, should be shaping a party vehicle that could bring it to power through electoral means. Now is not the time to plot the ouster of the Yingluck government by all means possible, including extra-parliamentary manoeuvres, as some elements of the anti-Thaksin coalition would have it.

Electorally strong, administratively weak

SHORT of another military coup or further judicial interventions, the change of government in Thailand will be through the ballot box. It is unlikely that the Yingluck government and the ruling Pheu Thai party would simply resign and make way for the opposing Democrat Party.

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