Calls to Curb the Crown’s Writ Put Thailand on Edge
Calls to Curb the Crown’s Writ Put Thailand on Edge
Briefing 121 / Asia

泰国:下一场暴风雨前的平静?

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概述

当局镇压反政府示威的事件过去近一年后,泰国正在筹备大选。红衫军虽然遭到政府压制却仍颇受拥戴,同时国内政治分歧的鸿沟犹存。泰国总理阿披实・维乍集瓦所推行的和解路线图几乎毫无进展。虽然红衫军在遭到镇压后曾制造手法拙劣的爆炸事件,但他们并没有像人们恐惧的那样发动地下战争。另一方面,虽然黄衫军早先曾帮助现任的以民主党为首的政府上台,现在却转而宣称在“肮脏”的政治环境下选举毫无意义,并鼓励泰国公民拒绝向任何党派投票。即使选举在自由、公正、和平的环境下进行,要让各方承认其结果仍然阻力重重。任何由王室施压凑成的联合政府只会成为红衫党重新发动大规模抗议的靶心,而泰国将陷入更加激烈的暴力冲突。

2010年3月至5月间发生的红衫军运动造成了92人死亡,成为泰国现代史上示威者与当局之间发生的伤亡最为惨重的冲突。政府动用武力虽然挫伤了红衫军的力量,却未能将其铲除。红衫军仍有数以百万计的支持者,并且在北部和东北部尤其受到拥护。虽然政府逮捕了红衫军领袖,封锁其媒体,切断其通讯渠道,这一切只是让红衫军更坚定地认为自身是政府迫害的对象。部分红衫军强硬派的边缘分子选择以暴力来进行报复,但其领袖重申了以和平手段进行政治斗争的承诺。下一场斗争将在投票箱前进行,而红衫军将全力支持它的参选机构——为泰党。

泰国持久不断的冲突始于2006年,当时王室、军方和司法系统等精英当权派的支持者组建了以“黄衫”为标志的人民民主联盟(民盟)同泰国前总理他信·西那瓦及其同盟展开了斗争。当年9月的军事政变将他信赶下台,但反当权派运动——即反独裁民主联合阵线(反独联),俗称红衫军——也同时兴起。2008年,民盟发起运动力图关闭曼谷机场从而导致僵局,法院通过判决解除了对峙,同时迫使他信的“代理”党——人民力量党——下台。这一系列事件的结果是在军方支持下,由民主党领头建立了联合政府。两年后,极端民主主义的黄衫军倒戈先前的盟友,开始在政府大楼外抗议,指责阿披实在同柬埔寨就柏威夏寺边境领土的争端中未能保卫“泰国领土”。 民盟呼吁一位“英明”的领导来取代现任总理,此类言论引发了民众对军事政变的忧虑。

阿披实已声称将加快实施关键选举规则的修正案,并在5月的第一个星期解散议会。在军事政变传言纷纷的情况下,阿披实正加紧选举的准备工作。民主党希望新规则及选举前的慷慨举措能为其赢得足够的席位来领导新的联合政府。他信在大部分选民中仍然深受拥护,而且在实际意义上由他信领导的为泰党很可能成为占有席位最多的党。政府的组建过程将会充满争议。反独联已经发出威胁说如果为泰党获取相对多数席位但不得以组建政府,将重新走上街头举行示威。任何王室插手施压的明显迹象将重新引发抗议并点燃暴力冲突。反之,由于黄衫军很难与一个他信“代理”政府和平共存,因此如果为泰党获得足够席位来领导新政府,黄衫军或许会重振势头。

尽管选举并不会消除政治分裂,大选后的政治气象仍然会阴云密布,但泰国仍然应该将选举进行到底。广泛公开的选举规则及地方和国际观察员的独立监督将会提高选举结果的可信程度而且将竞选活动中的暴力活动降到最低。如果新政府组建成功,将会重树权威和重建民信,从而领导长期努力达到真正的政治和解。

曼谷/布鲁塞尔,2011年4月11日

I. Overview

Nearly a year after the crackdown on anti-establishment demonstrations, Thailand is preparing for a general election. Despite government efforts to suppress the Red Shirt movement, support remains strong and the deep political divide has not gone away. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s roadmap for reconciliation has led almost nowhere. Although there have been amateurish bomb attacks carried out by angry Red Shirts since the crackdown, fears of an underground battle have not materialised. On the other side, the Yellow Shirts have stepped up their nationalist campaigns against the Democrat Party-led government that their earlier rallies had helped bring to power. They are now claiming elections are useless in “dirty” politics and urging Thais to refuse to vote for any of the political parties. Even if the elections are free, fair and peaceful, it will still be a challenge for all sides to accept the results. If another coalition is pushed together under pressure from the royalist establishment, it will be a rallying cry for renewed mass protests by the Red Shirts that could plunge Thailand into more violent confrontation.

The Red Shirt demonstrations in March-May 2010 sparked the most deadly clashes between protestors and the state in modern Thai history and killed 92 people. The use of force by the government may have weakened the Red Shirts but the movement has not been dismantled and is still supported by millions of people, particularly in the North and North East. Arresting their leaders as well as shutting down their media and channels of communication has only reinforced their sense of injustice. Some in the movement’s hardline fringe have chosen to retaliate with violence but the leadership has reaffirmed its commitment to peaceful political struggle. The next battle will be waged through ballot boxes and the Red Shirts will throw their weight behind their electoral wing, the Pheu Thai Party.

The protracted struggle between supporters of the elite establishment – the monarchy, the military and the judiciary – and those allied with ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra began with the formation of the “yellow-shirted” People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) in 2006. The September 2006 coup removed Thaksin from power but prompted the emergence of a counter movement: the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) or Red Shirts. The PAD’s campaigns to close down Bangkok airports in 2008 created deadlock that was resolved by a court ruling that removed Thaksin’s “proxy” party – People Power Party – from power. This led to the formation of the Democrat-led coalition government, backed by the military. Two years later, the ultra-nationalist Yellow Shirts have apparently split from their former allies and are protesting outside Government House against Abhisit’s alleged failure to defend “Thai territory” in the Preah Vihear border dispute with Cambodia. The PAD’s call for a “virtuous” leader to replace the prime minister has raised concerns that it is inviting the military to stage a coup.

Abhisit has stated he will dissolve parliament in the first week of May after expediting the enactment of legislation to revise key electoral rules. He is moving quickly towards the elections amid rumours of a coup. With the new rules and pre-poll largesse, the Democrat Party hopes to secure more seats and position itself to lead another coalition. Thaksin is still popular with much of the electorate and there is a strong possibility that his de facto Pheu Thai Party could emerge as the largest party. The formation of the government is likely to be contentious. The UDD has threatened to return to the streets if Pheu Thai wins a plurality but does not form the government. Obvious arm bending by the royalist establishment to this end is a recipe for renewed protests and violence. Should the opposite occur, and Pheu Thai has the numbers to lead a new government, the Yellow Shirts might regain momentum; they are unlikely to tolerate a “proxy” Thaksin government.

While elections will not resolve the political divide and the post-election scenarios look gloomy, Thailand nevertheless should proceed with the polls. A well-publicised electoral code of conduct and independent monitoring by local and international observers could help enhance their credibility and minimise violence during the campaign. If installed successfully, the new government with a fresh mandate will have greater credibility to lead any longer term effort to bring about genuine political reconciliation.

Bangkok/Brussels, 11 April 2011

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