AMSTERDAM & PARTNERS | WHITE PAPER 2013conceivable method to remove a duly elected government, primarily through anextra-parliamentary campaign of street action and judicial manipulation. This White Paper describes the efforts by the anti-Thaksin coalition to underminethe results of the 2011 election, and it calls upon the international communityto throw its full-throated support behind the Yingluck government as it strives toadvance true democracy in Thailand, while preventing a repeat of April/May 2010.
2. Thailand in Context
In the July 2011 general election the people of Thailand duly elected the PheuThai Party to form their present government. They did so by giving the PheuThai Party a majority of members in the Thai parliament and by providing PheuThai with a 48.41% share of the vote, one of the highest vote shares for a singleparty in Thailand’s history. By August 2011 Yingluck Shinawatra was sworn in asPrime Minister and, with other small parties joining the Pheu Thai coalition, thegovernment’s democratic and parliamentary mandate was cemented.
The 2011 victory would be the fth-straight general election win for the variousembodiments of the Thai Rak Thai Party formed in 1998 by Thaksin Shinawatra
and his political allies. In 2001, 2005 and 2006, Thai Rak Thai secured pluralitiesor overwhelming majorities in the Thai parliament, becoming the most successfuldemocratic political entity in Thailand’s history.However, by September 2006 the Thai Rak Thai government had been ousted in anillegal military coup, Prime Minister Thaksin and the entire leadership of the partyhad been banned from electoral politics, and Thai Rak Thai itself was dissolved.
Furthermore the coup makers abrogated the 1997 Constitution and set up a judicial
process to criminalize former Prime Minister Thaksin.Yet, despite these setbacks, the vast majority of Thai citizens kept their faith in
elections and democratic politics, and in the December 2007 general election,
they returned the People’s Power Party—the new incarnation of Thai Rak Thai— to
parliament in sufcient numbers to form a government. In response, a relatively
small but violent anti-democratic protest movement known as the Peoples’ Alliancefor Democracy (PAD or the yellow shirts) staged a demonstration in mid-2008 atthe Makkawan Bridge in downtown Bangkok. They did so with the express aim of overthrowing the system of electoral democracy and instigating another militarycoup.In late 2008, the PAD, following on a series of violent protests that involved the use of
explosives and rearms, occupied both the Government House and Bangkok’s two
international airports. The Thai Army demonstrated an unwillingness to intervene toexpel the increasingly violent PAD, stymieing the government’s ability to administer