Is it really possible that Thailand’s George W. Bush will become Prime Minister? As Andrew Walker at New Mandala puts it: “With the assistance of a military coup, two party dissolutions, a new constitution, an activist judiciary, royal backing, an ultra-nationalist crisis, six months of escalating street provocation, military insubordination, and an economically disastrous airport shutdown, the Democrat Party now seems to be within striking distance of forming Thailand’s next government.”
Since Abhisit W. Vejjajiva is leader of the Democrats, he is most likely to get the nomination from his side, if the deep-pocketed influencers who are buying the loyalty of former PPP-coalition MPs manage to convince enough to turn their coats.
In what way is he Thailand’s George W Bush. Let me count the ways:
Born into a family of wealth and enormous privilege
Enviable academic record made possible by family influence rather than personal ability
Never managed a useful day’s work in his life
Draft dodger (allegedly. Well, it is true but being disputed)
Awarded office by court decisions rather than the ballot box
Hopelessly incapable of understanding the problems facing his country and likely to pass all real political work to extremist and secretive background people
The kind of guy you’d like to have a beer with – that always struck me as a strange thing with Bush, who of course is a currently non-drinking alcoholic (since we must discount the curious pretzel choking rumours and the … on second thoughts, I have deleted the end of that sentence).
It is not definite that the Democrats will be able to put together a coalition and, even if they do, how stable it will be, since numbers are likely to be close and a number of the new coalition members will face severe criticism from voters over their behaviour and many will be voted out and can spend more time with their newly-swollen bank accounts. The army has started to talk about ‘unrest’ in the north which could be true, of course or else preparation for a military crackdown (possibly re-imposition of martial law) in areas unhappy about the Silent Coup now taking place.
Let us live in boring times.