Bangkok Today Columnistphya Mai
published : 4 Jan 2012 at 00:00
newspaper section: News
The government is right in not pushing for a change to Section 112 of the Criminal Code, which regards lese majeste as an offence against the security of the state. But it may amend the current Constitution, which was drawn up in 2007 at the behest of the military officers who removed then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra from power on Sept 19, 2006.
During the July 3, 2011 election campaign, the pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai Party pledged to amend the post-coup charter if it gained a majority in the Lower House of Parliament. Now that it is in government, Pheu Thai must make good on its promise _ even though this will put it in confrontation with anti-Thaksin groups, which successfully engineered the demise of two pro-Thaksin governments in 2008 and 2009.
Democracy and dictatorship are like water and oil, they cannot mix. Many countries around the world have gone through bloody conflicts and confrontation before they attained full democracy. If Pheu Thai reneges on its promise to amend the charter it will be seen as a traitor to the cause of democracy and the ideals of the people who voted en masse for the party last July 3.
The 2007 charter was designed to keep power in the hands of a select group of people who do not like Thaksin. It was used to topple two pro-Thaksin prime ministers, leading to the formation of a new government led by the Democrat Party. This is the root cause of the ongoing political conflict in our country.
With its strong political mandate, Pheu Thai must make good on its campaign promises. There will be fierce resistance from its political opponents, but Pheu Thai must stay the course.
If peace cannot ensure righteousness, then war may bring it.