The Thai Coup

I’m shamelessly copying news items from Appletree and adding short interpretations to make everyone think I’m really blogging. I promise to go back to real blogging soon.
Southeast Asia is down to two democracies. A military coup in Thailand, whose instigators say they have the King’s support, has deposed Prime Minister Thaksin “in order to resolve the conflict and bring back normalcy and harmony among people.”

The good news is that the coup seems to be more in line with Turkish coups, which culminate in the restoration of democracy, than with Pakistani or Burmese coups, which don’t. The army commander “would run the country for only two weeks, he said, before handing over to a civilian prime minister. Democracy would be fully restored in a year’s time after the constitution had been rewritten.” I don’t recall that Musharraf ever promised democracy within the year.

So the worst case scenario, wherein Thailand is reduced to another Myanmar, will probably not happen. The best case scenario, in which the military gives up power voluntarily and holds free elections that aren’t influenced by corruption, unfortunately looks like a pipedream. Even in Turkey, post-coup elections weren’t particularly free. The mere perception that a coup is a possibility adversely affects elections.

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