Monday, November 24, 2008
Protests against the government are ongoing in Thailand, with tens of thousands of protesters surrounding the parliament. They are led by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who claims that the government is corrupt and hostile to the monarchy. What is going on? Well the current government, led by Somchai Wongsawat, is widely seen as a pawn of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006. Thaksin is unpopular with Bangkok elites, but widely loved in the countryside. They managed to get him out of power in 2006, through protests and a military coup, but it was temporary. The protest is an attempt by this segment of the population to control the government more permanently. "The PAD wants to replace Thailand's one-man, one-vote system with one in which some representatives are chosen by professions and social groups rather than the general electorate." according to the BBC. In other words, they are protesting against democracy.