So, what’s happening in Thailand?

As most of you probably know Thailand is in a bit of political turmoil right now. Yesterday afternoon the Thai Military took control of the country and the military chief is now acting prime minister.

The political situation here in Thailand has been screwed up for a long time, and during the majority of the time I’ve spent in the country there has been large protests in Bangkok. Last night was the first night without protesters in Bangkok for over six months, and that was due to the curfew. This isn’t the first coup in Thailand (try the 12th or something since 1932) and from the information on Twitter people seem to be more annoyed because they can’t watch their favorite TV-shows than due to the fact that the military is censoring TV, radio and written media.

The political history of Thailand is very strange, and more than one international media have called them an immature democracy. I’m not even sure I would call them a democracy. The fighting concern which part of the population should have the power; the rich and educated “yellow shirts” or the uneducated, poor farmers in the rural areas of Thailand which are called the “red shirts”. This whole thing is so bisarre. The problem is that since the “red shirts” has won the last few elections, the “yellow shirts” wants the power without having an election. Don’t get me wrong, both sides are corrupt as hell, and choosing between them are like choosing between the pest or cholera, so I’m not taking sides! Why they are being called an immature democracy is because there’s no collaborations or compromises between the two political parties. As a swedish journalist wrote yesterday: the winner takes it all.

One thing that’s really puzzling to me is how so many people (like my university) are openly saying that they shouldn’t have a democracy because the poor are too uneducated to know their own best so the rich, educated elite in Bangkok should just have the power. Some other people just want the king to tell them what to do (not very democratic either)…

Anyway, what’s going to happen now, you might be wondering. So am I. With the military going in and taking the power, it looks like the “yellow shirts” will be the people who benefit from this the most. What will most likely happen is that the military will appoint a government that will sit for a year or two until they can have elections again. And apparently it’s no secret that the military chief is close buddy to several highly educated and rich people sympathizing with the “yellow shirts”, so they’ll get the power in the temporarily appointed government. Then who knows what’s going to happen. Thailand has been though this 11 times before so I’m sorry if I’m not very optimistic…

However, all sides seem to have learned from the last coup and this far this one remains bloodless. Crossing my fingers it’ll continue like that!

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