Thailand and martial law

Thailand’s army has declared martial law. Their stated reason:

“The army intends to bring peace to the beloved country of all Thais as soon as possible,” General Prayuth said in a nationally televised speech broadcast at 6:30 a.m. “We would like to urge people from every group to stop their movement in order to quickly find a sustainable solution for the country.”

Jonathan Head of BBC news notes the problem:

The army insists its imposition of martial law does not amount to a coup, and it is trying to operate with as light a footprint as possible.

Both the government and its red-shirt supporters have accepted the army commander’s word, that it is not taking over political power.

But none of this resolves the intractable political conflict which has afflicted Thailand for eight years. If all the army does is maintain security, the problem will remain unresolved, and governance will be crippled.

If the army tries to impose its own solution though, what at the moment seems like a “half-coup” could well become a complete one, an outcome the red-shirt movement has said it will rise up against and resist.

There is no solution because one side wins all the elections

Thaksin, a former telecommunications billionaire, remains highly popular among the poor in the north and northeast, and parties controlled by him have won every national election since 2001.

and the other side still feels they should rule anyway:

The current Pheu Thai government is serving in a caretaker role until a new round of elections scheduled for this summer, but Yingluck Shinawatra’s opponents — who are likely to lose another election — have called for her government to be replaced by an unelected council.

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