Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

A thin line between fact-checking and propaganda in Gaza social media coverage

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

  • Hamas rockets reaching deeper into Israel

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Gaza as militants target Israeli cities

    Read more

  • UN chief Ban Ki-moon appoints new Syria mediator

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

Devoted to the Thai King

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2008-12-02

The PAD’s campaign against the Thai government culminated on Dec. 2 when a constitutional court disbanded the ruling coalition for vote fraud. But the ruling may not be enough to avoid further clashes with government supporters.

The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD)

The PAD was founded in 2005 with the aim to oust then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The movement accused Thaksin of corruption and saw him as a threat to the deeply-respected monarchy.

The PAD was also responsible for the 2006 street protests in Bangkok which ultimately led to a military coup, forcing Thaksin out of power in September 2006.

The anti-government movement resumed its attacks in May 2008 against the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, calling it an illegitimate proxy of Thaksin. Somchai’s party, the People Power Party (PPP), was formed by MPs from Thaksin’s banned Thai Rak Thai party. Somchai, himself Thaksin’s brother-in-law, was seen by protesters as a pawn of the deposed prime minister.

For the PAD, Somchai’s government was “acting like a Trojan horse for Shinawatra,” Human Rights Watch’s Asia Director Brad Adams told FRANCE 24 in a phone interview. Protesters feared that the government may pass a legislation granting amnesty to Thaksin and allow him to return to politics. Adams added that Thaksin himself had been engineering a lot of it to try and return to Thai politics.

 

 


Fighting for a Thaksin-free government

PAD has sworn to protest until a Thaksin-free government is formed. They want a new constitution and 70 percent of parliament members to be appointed rather than elected.

However, questions are being raised about the protest movement’s real motives. “When the PAD started out as a protest group, they claimed to be fighting on behalf of the monarchy and for the people,” Adams said.

But the alliance’s disapproval of Thaksin or his allies’ victory in democratic elections has since led some analysts to believe that the PAD no longer represents the people or democracy.



PPP vs. PAD

While the PAD enjoys support from a large urban middle-class base including state employees, Thaksin and his allies remain popular among the rural voters, who regard the former leader as someone who fought for their equality.

The PAD accuses the PPP of hostility toward Thailand’s much revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has reigned through 17 military coups and 26 prime ministers. But the king has made no public reference to the troubles so far.
 
At the same time, “the PAD is slowly losing support because of its conservative stance” says Adams, adding that “it will probably collapse at some point of time.” The PAD tried to draw support from the army, hoping to provoke a military coup. But those efforts have so far proved fruitless.

All six parties in the toppled coalition government vowed to stick together and seek a parliamentary vote for a new prime minister on Dec. 8.



 

Date created : 2008-12-02

Comments

COMMENT(S)