Three things that caused Thailand's democracy to falter
May 24, 2014 00:00
There are three main reasons why Thais have been out in the streets of Bangkok for six months calling for national reform:
First, the government’s damaging populist schemes, which have for the last decade endangered our long-term economic vision.
The Yingluck government’s rice price-pledging scheme has relegated Thailand from the world’s No 1 rice exporter to No 3 in just one year.
Second, corruption in government. The governing Pheu Thai party was a successor of the now-dissolved Thai Rak Thai and People’s Power parties. All three were started and controlled by the now fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
Most of their members were barred from politics for five years for past political offences. Now they are back.
This same group of people has been accused of plunging the country to its lowest ranking on the global corruption index.
Third, inequitable governance. Certain government policies were aimed at securing votes rather than bringing benefit for the nation as a whole. The government has paid too much attention to taking care of the people in the North and Northeast, leaving the conflict-torn South unattended.
Hence, it looks like the rebellion against the Pheu Thai party and the Thaksin regime will not die easily – unless tangible political reforms happen first.