Socialist Worker

Thai election results challenge status quo

by Giles Ji Ungpakorn
Published Tue 5 Jul 2011
Issue No. 2259

The Thai general election results are a slap in the face for the military dictatorship. The majority of people have rejected the military, the Democrat Party and the royalist elites.

Peua Thai, the party closely allied to the Red Shirt democracy movement, has won a clear majority.

Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, will now lead the country.

The result is all the more remarkable given that the Democrat Party of Abhisit Vejjajiva held the election under conditions of severe censorship and intimidation of the movement.

Military snipers shot down over 90 Red Shirts last year in order to maintain the status quo.

The election result vindicates the struggles of the Red Shirts and proves the deep commitment to democracy among ordinary people.

But if Thailand is to shake off the legacy of the 2006 military coup, this new government must act immediately.

It must free all political prisoners, end state censorship, and hold the military to account for the crimes it has committed.

It will be up to the movement to put pressure on the government.

This election is only one step towards restoring democracy. It will take mass participation to strengthen and speed up the process.


Article information

International
Tue 5 Jul 2011, 16:31 BST
Issue No. 2259
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