Thailand will hold an election on July 3, Parliament has been dissolved.
Okay, to be clear, Bangkok is safe and the upcoming election on July 3 has not caused any disruption to life in Bangkok and most of Thailand. Oddly, it seems the Thai government and politicians want to play up the threat of violence associated with the election. I use the term oddly as Thailand depends on exports and tourism to drive the economy, you would think Thailand- like the USA- would play up safety and normalcy.
I remember the debates and news about Obama’s safety and gun laws during the USA election, with the USA saying all candidates were safe. In Thailand there seems to be a “the other side might be violent, we are not” mentality and the threat of violence is constantly in the news.
But, the country is safe enough for Parliament to be dissolved.
The knowledge of the bad guys is enough to identify 112 hitmen the government (that has been dissolved) thinks might cause violence. Now the obvious question- if you know about these hitmen, why have they not been arrested prior to the election? This appears to be a bit of window dressing to raise awareness about who keeps the public safe.
2011 is not like 2010- no massive street protests at this time. In spite of known hitmen wandering around, things feel very safe. This might be a bit of calm before the storm, all sides are waiting to see how 3 July turns out before making a big show of things.
In terms of the election results, is seems most feel neither party will win a majority, leading to a coalition government. There are many factors in the election- the urban agenda, the rural agenda, a former prime ministers agenda (his sister is running) and the ill will left from the street protests of 2010. Add to that large disparities in the wealth divide and you have a full plate of issues.
What happens? A coalition government that is similar to the current government? Probably. I don’t think many feel this election will be the end point or solution, it might be the start of the next cycle of political events that will continue as the country remains torn between agendas and issues- past, present and future.