A crucial political card was played on Friday October 10 in Bangkok. That card signaled the next phase of the political trouble in Thailand is about to begin.
The Office of the Attorney General on Friday lodged a petition at the Constitution Court seeking to dissolve the People Power Party (PPP) on grounds of linking to electoral fraud. Barely 12 hours had passed after Connecting the Dots posted “Thailand government on the run” was the announcement made that the case was being delivered to the court. That started the clock ticking but the setting of the exact time has still yet to be done. The next thing that happened was the announcement the Prime Minister had canceled his trips out of the country and speculations that parliament was about to be dissolved.
What this all means is the actions of the PPP will be governed by the clock. That also means that the refusal to do the right thing and dissolve parliament was all about waiting for the clock to start. When the PPP get the start date for the trial, they will know exactly what day is best for them to dissolve parliament. When parliament is dissolved the PPP will immediately go to their new (lifeboat) party and get ready for the elections.
If parliament is dissolved then any Constitutional amendments can not be done until the new parliament is elected and sworn in. The chances are very slim that any Constitution work will be done before parliament is dissolved, meaning that the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) have won this round if they can stop any action on the Constitution before Parliament is dissolved. Also this will be the second time in a row that parliament was dissolved to benefit Thaksin.
The military has taken the position that they will not stage a coup, and to allow the constitution to work. Right now a coup will be counter productive given the strength of the Constitution and the stage of the game Thailand is at. A coup now would allow the PPP to save face and perhaps votes. Letting the Constitution work will become an educational experience for every Thai no matter what their educational attainment is. The Impatient’s of the PAD is understandable after what has been going on, and their best tool now is to keep up the pressure and further erode the PPP voter base. Their desire for their ‘New Politics’ plan to be implemented also fades without a coup. Also by not staging a coup, it adds more legitimacy to the first criminal court ruling on Thaksin now due next week on October 21.
The action of The Office of the Attorney General has broken the log jam for the moment and some pressure should ease. However the PAD seems to want to be thorough and not do a half ass job, but who can blame them on that. Because of that at what point the PAD will be content is not clear and how long this will all last is not known exactly, but best guess before the end of October there should be some signs of normalcy as the mandate should be back with the people by then.
As for the issue of what caused the deaths and maiming on October 7, the initial indications point to Chinese made tear gas bombs on steroids. The question remains did the police know about them or not. Seeing as tear gas was used a month earlier without injuries, the indications are yes. The usage of the same tear gas in early September would have hurt some of the government’s hired rioters. If that is the case it becomes easy to use excessive force by changing to these tear gas bombs and blame it on yet another defective and dangerous product from China thus being the perfect alibi.
Looking past Monday’s planned rally in front of police headquarters, if there is no problems there, then things should ease off and tourists may actually decide to visit Thailand.