The Nation



Protesters seek to strengthen, not weaken, democracy

The demonstrations against Thaksin & Co were sparked by his alleged rampant corruption, which is a gross violation of rule of law, accountability and transparency - all pillars of democracy.

Thus, what the people want is a strengthening of democracy. I see no need to weaken it with non-democratic means like a "people's council" of appointed persons chosen by a non-transparent method with no criteria other than being acceptable to Suthep & Co.

Retaining Yingluck's administration in the interim as we prepare for the election would be in line with the Constitution, legal precedent and international convention. Widespread fears that she'd rig the election can be allayed by her very visible and vigorous support of the Election Commission's application of international best practices against vote-buying. These include an invitation to the demonstrators' PDRC and other civic organisations such as the Lawyers' Society, and getting the AMLO anti-money laundering governmental unit to join in.

Yingluck should further assuage our concerns by:

_ Strengthening the rule of law by cancelling her brother's passport and requesting that Dubai et al return him immediately to serve his term;

_ Strengthening transparency in government by making allocation and usage of the Bt2-trillion budget for infrastructure completely transparent, including feasibility assumptions.

We need a more robust democracy - not a weaker one.

Burin Kantabutra


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