As I discussed at great length previously on this blog and on the radio show, Thailand’s elitist and condescending opposition has decided that if they can’t win free elections, nobody gets any elections. Despite the Army’s significant refusal to help them (so far, this time), the opposition made a concerted effort this weekend to put force behind their threats. Not only will they boycott this month’s upcoming elections but they don’t want anyone else to be able to participate either — even if that means turning guns on their fellow citizens. From the NY Times, my emphasis added:
At least six people were injured Saturday in a prolonged daylight gun battle between protesters seeking to block the distribution of ballots in Bangkok and would-be voters demanding that protesters cease their attempts to obstruct national elections on Sunday.
Ignoring pleas by the United States and the European Union to respect the democratic process — and stoking the anger of many Thais eager to vote — the protesters have blocked the distribution of ballots in parts of Bangkok and southern Thailand, a stronghold of the opposition.
The shooting on Saturday raised fears about further violence during Sunday’s general election, when protesters say they plan to fill the streets and prevent voters from reaching polling stations.
Although they represent a minority of the Thai population of 65 million people, the protesters number in the hundreds of thousands in Bangkok and say they are a vanguard of a social movement to reform Thailand’s democracy. To do so, however, they say they need to suspend democracy and place the country in the hands of an unelected “people’s council” while changes are made.
This does not bode well for anyone.