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July 4th, 2011: The Results of July 3rd Election--- A Victory for Thai Democracy

by Jaran Ditapichai

The general election on July 3, 2011 went well. Thai people as many as 75-percent went to the poll with enthusiasm, and the result was in line with expectations. The Pheu Thai Party won the election with 265 MPs that is more than half of the total MPs. It is an absolute majority.

The results of this election reflect the general will of Thai people who want Pheu Thai Party to form the government, and Ms. Yingluk Shinawatra as the first female Thai Prime Minister. This is the rights to self-determination of the Thai citizen echoing the social and political progress of Thai society in accepting female leadership. More importantly, it shows the Thai people do not want any more dictatorship and aristocracy, especially from the Democrat Party whose hands are bloody from the April and May massacres that killed 91 and injured nearly 2000 people. The Democrat won only 160 MPs.

Before and after the election, many were concerned that although Pheu Thai Party may be the party to a majority, they will have difficulty in forming the government ; or if it could, it will not allow to govern for a long periods of time. Royalists, Aristocrats and wannabe such as anti-Thaksin forces PAD Yellow shirts, some sector of the press, some middle class, and the armed forces etc. will resist and obstruct.

When the results of the election came out showing Pheu Thai Party won the solid majority, it still invited four other political parties to join in forming a coalition government. This shows political openness. In addition, the specific direction for unity and reconciliation advocates by Pheu Thai encourages other to join. This raises the number of MPs ; hence enhance political legitimacy. The forming of the government by Pheu Thai party ought to be smooth.

However, the political crisis that existed for more than five years, couple with parties that do not believe in democracy, that look down upon political parties and politicians, that do not believe in electoral process, which include people in high society, some middle class, probably will not accept nor respect the will of the people, who are sovereign. They will not accept defeat from this general election. They will join forces and will move against the government in any way---peaceful or violent, open or clandestine, even calling for a coup.

Therefore, I urge the international community to monitor the situation in Thailand. In this first stage, support the forming of government by the party that won the election.

Jaran Ditapichai
Former National Human Rights Commissioner


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