Red Shirts regroup to push for election, democracy in Thailand

Political rallies are an integral part of Thailand's societal psychological structure, and the ugliness of Thai politics stems perhaps from the need, every decade or so or less, to push, bend and possibly break the conformity that has been placed upon their lives. Traditional order commands, and even though manipulated by some during times of crisis, others view their structured lives as a passive receptacle for the mind, that excitable sensory experience.
Rally Thailand
Recently, the opposition figurehead of Thai politics, Abhisit Vejjajiva, called for the caretaker prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign before the July election. Abhisit, a former prime minister with a legacy of notoriety to boot, has been going around, making appearances at the premises of this official or that general to improve his public persona which has slumped an all time low among Thais outside of Bangkok. Its common knowledge, and a source of further amusement, that Abhisit will never win in a free and fair election. The true power based of his political party, ironically named Democrat Party, is mainly in Bangkok. Even in the terror-wrecked southern provinces of ThaiSouth the Democrats, in the spirit of tokenism, hold superficial power over the Thai Muslim communities. Little has been mentioned in the local English-media that the Democrats are simply despised by the Muslims along with the Pheu Thai Party.

"Yingluck should make the sacrifice of withdrawing from power," Abhisit said, as he gallantly explained his roadmap of easing tension. Aye, I wager once Yingluck is removed using the high powers of so-called independent systems, which in Thailand "independent" means nothing, then who best to replace it then dear old Suthep Thaugsuban, a self-styled "coup leader" or Abhisit to install himself as the next great Thai Hope. Such reforms as called by People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) are notably defective. Thai political elites such as Suthep, prefer to just abandon elections and resort to selecting among the privileged lot of who gets to wield power over the masses. Sounds like Abhisit wants his Thailand to be fashioned in an autocratic style, or moving towards a totalitarianism; typical of the fantasies seeping from ego-bloated fascists.

I observed a small rally on Saturday at Min Buri district, organised by PDRC's arch-foe, United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), or commonly known as "Red Shirts". What started slow in the late afternoon, from an estimated 700 supporters swelled to about 5000 by 8pm, in the sweltering night air. 
UDD Thailand
Jatuporn Prompan, a tough-looking leader of UDD was at the forefront, speeches and waving his arm while giving a determined look at his roaring crowd. I managed to gain access to see him, after explaining to the tall UDD guards that I was blogging about demonstrations and society, and showing them my blogs via the phone. The heavily-built guards armed with walkie-talkies and ID cards hanging around their necks pointed to a canopy.

Jatuporn, a polite man, ushered a couple of journalists towards him while a guard allowed me to sit close to him. Not at all looking dashing with my messy curls, sweat drenched t-shirt and shorts, I asked him while a translator rendered my English into something digestible in the Thai tongue.

"Do you think the election is the best way to solve the present political crisis?" I asked. Jatuporn nods, clasping hands on his lap.

"Yes. I believe that election is about people's power. The people have the right to participate and the voting system is the only solution for what we are facing now." He said. "This is the true way of democracy."

"Do you think PDRC will try to block the people from voting? Or will there resistance from some people in the election commission?"

He grinned, and explained to me that the constitutional court had ruled the February 2 election as unlawful as it was not completed in a day. The reason for the incomplete election was that PDRC had actively blocked and successfully intimidated election officers, voters which affected 28 constituencies.

"Suthep did it before, he can do it again."

I offered my thanks for his time and comments. The Red Shirt leader's attention diverted to a question from an impatient Thai journalist and a cameraman.
UDD Red Shirts
The truth, is that while the Red Shirts believed in the election process, and have waved their "Respect My Vote" banners in the past, the political impasse will not be solved in a single day when a majority of the population shows up and votes. Thailand's gutter politics has been strengthened by the installation of a military-sponsored constitution after the coup of 2006, while enforced as if the constitution in an unalterable divine "hudud" law. Its admirable that the masses even against the influential few, have not surrendered to the middle class, the Bangkok bourgeois and the nightmare the elites intend to unleash should they win against the people's power.


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