WSJ: Royalists who can’t win an election stage a judicial coupBy Bangkok Pundit May 08, 2014 10:00AM UTC
WSJ have an editorial piece in the aftermath of the Constitution Court decision:
Royalist forces struck another blow against Thai democracy Wednesday when the country’s Constitutional Court staged a judicial coup and removed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office. Her supposed crime: having impure motives when she transferred a bureaucrat three years ago. For the third time in a decade, this unaccountable institution controlled by the aristocracy has removed an elected leader for dubious reasons.
The justices’ meddling rewards the bad behavior of the ironically named royalist Democrat Party. It boycotted the general election in February after several of its leaders led street protests aimed at overthrowing democracy and installing a ruling council made up of the country’s elite.
The situation would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous. The conflict has emboldened extremists on both sides who threaten to start a civil war. That would pit rural parts of the country, particularly in the north, that support the populist Shinawatra family against the pro-royalist urban areas and the south.
However, such a peace will remain precarious because the two sides hold fundamentally incompatible visions for Thailand’s future. Ms. Yingluck’s brother Thaksin Shinawatra upset the country’s feudal order when he mobilized ordinary Thais to demand real power in 2001. That genie can’t be put back in the bottle, even if the Shinawatras are purged from politics.
The Constitutional Court’s decision this week is a last gasp of the old regime, discrediting itself as it fights to hold back the forces of democracy. One can hope that a wiser leader will emerge from the royalist camp who will realize this and stop trying to overthrow democracy. While the Democrats may be unable to win elections in the near term, they can still wield considerable influence and restrain the worst populist impulses of the pro-Shinawatra camp. For now, though, it appears the aristocracy is not ready to give up its claim to a divine right to rule Thailand and accept the more modest role of loyal opposition.
BP: Not sure the Establishment will be happy with the WSJ…