Baker on the chance of a negotiated outcome to the Thai political crisis
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Baker on the chance of a negotiated outcome to the Thai political crisis


Chris Baker, an author and commentator on Thai politics, says once extreme views on both sides are set aside, negotiations may be possible.

“You have on one side, the red side, saying we want to preserve the principle of elections because that’s the way we think we can get change,” he said. “On the other “yellow side” – [after] removing the crazies – is saying yes we want better controls on the parliament and on ‘majoritarian’ governments so they don’t go off and do corrupt and nasty and silly things. There’s obviously room for negotiation there on how you achieve both a reasonable compromise.”

BP: In theory, yes, but when? BP sees the Establishment as not wanting to seriously negotiate now and they will want to wait until they remove Yingluck so they have a better hand, but at that point will those on the other side be willing to negotiate given previous deal from 2011 has also broken down (and in BP’s opinion, the Establishment broke the deal which then means there are serious trust issues).

What BP would say is that the current Constitution already has many controls on the executive and the legislature. Just look at all the court cases and projects and amendments that have been stopped or stymied. Amending the Constitution has been blocked repeatedly by the Courts. The rice pledging scheme has now stopped. The transport infrastructure project has also stopped. The problem that BP sees is that these controls are seen by the Establishment side as not sufficient, but by the pro-Thaksin side the current controls are seen as too much and further controls are even more intolerable. It is hard to reconcile this and the gap between both sides is so far. Then you have the elephant in the room and until that issue is resolved the best solution is a band-aid, but the situation can then explode at any time.