Bangkok — Ex-Thai foreign minister Kasit Piromya said the current anti-government protests are not ‘anti-democracy’ as portrayed by some foreign diplomats and media, in an interview on Wednesday.
Mr. Kasit said foreigners should keep quite and accommodate Thai people’s desire for deeper reforms that might not fit some foreigners’ view of what democracy should be.
Unlike some countries who have had 200 years to become fully-democratic, Thailand is still struggling with the process that just began in 1932 with the overthrow of the absolute monarchy, noted the former foreign minister, who is currently a vice-chairman of the Democrat Party’s policy committee.
“They have impeachment mechanisms and the politicians in countries such as Japan, Taiwan, and Latvia, etc. have more moral and political responsibility than the current Thai leaders,” said Mr Kasit.
He rebutted comments by foreign diplomats and media that portrayed the protests as an anti-democracy movement, arguing that the current Yingluck Shinawatra government was a proxy dictated by one person, and no longer legitimate, said the Bangkok Post report.
“Look back to your own history; how painful and cumbersome it was to get rid of mafia and money politics,” said Mr. Kasit. “Some countries even had genocide.
He said the anti-government protesters have been trying to find a solution to chronic problems within Thai society with the aim of maintaining the constitutional monarchy, but some foreign commentators and groups seemed unable to see the facts.
He said it was his view that Thailand just needed to suspend, but not abolish, the scheduled February 2 election, in order to allow reforms to take place over a six to 12 month period.
In the meantime, said Mr. Kasit, “the foreign entities should just shut up their comments.” “For us, we are just weeding out these illiberal elements of democracy from the Thai society,” he said.
Mr. Kasit also stated that military intervention was unlikely, because the military realised the 2006 coup was a failure and was aware of international reactions.
The 2006 military coup overthrew the Thaksin Shinawatra government, and is the event that led to the political turmoil that has plagued Thailand ever since.