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泰国政治过渡的阻碍<br>Thailand’s Stunted Transition

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泰国实行宪政83年来第12次政变爆发一年后,随着前首相英叻被控渎职的具争议性案子的开审,国家的未来充斥了危险的不确定性。接下来数月,尽管军方的管制维持了和平,对泰王蒲眉蓬近70年统治结束后将会出现什么局面的焦虑情绪也与日俱增。近年来极为罕见的相互妥协和包容,能否让泰国重塑目前引起斗争的政治秩序——由精英推动、以君主制为基础的等级制度——更好的体现民主选举制的原则?

三项关键因素决定了过去一年泰国政治的基调。首先,去年5月夺取政权的军方(全国维持和平秩序委员会),一反过去政变后的安排,不再任命一名能力受到公认的人士担任首相,直接由政变领导人巴育将军出任首相。

从商业、运输到劳动、教育等部长职位同样由四星上将担任。就连外交部长也不是职业外交官而是现役将军。现政府屈指可数的几位技术官僚,包括副首相和财政部长,则是上届2006至2007年政变政府留下来的旧人,而他们抱怨没有实权。

这样做造成了经济策略的不连贯,及政策目标模糊与执行迟缓。但这在目前,不可能改变。泰国新一届军事领导人认为自己扮演了清除问题的角色,在军方与王室共生关系的基础上由官僚负责日常治理,铲除腐败、恢复原有秩序和监督政治人物的行为。

诚然,泰国军政府并不否认需要回应公众的诉求,和配合全球化步伐。然而,他们希望在按传统泰式制度和习俗建立的政治秩序框架内,建立起某种形式的选举规则。他们希望后退几步和调整方向,目标是向完全不同的方向前进。

就目前而言,这意味着弘扬纪律、服从、责任和牺牲等传统保守价值观。政府号召公务员穿上传统深黄褐色的卡其布制服,也鼓励女性穿传统泰式服饰。巴育甚至下令重开曼谷著名的水上市场。

此外,军政府议程还包括控制泰国政治方向的措施——特别是排斥对手,尤其是同有权有势的达信(Shinawatra)家族有关系的政治人物。事实上,影响后政变过渡期局势的第二大因素是前首相达信的妹妹英叻被弹劾。达信于2006年被军方推翻后,一直在海外过着流亡生活。英叻已被禁止参政五年。

军政府的困境,是达信的支持者——数量之大足以让其政党赢得自2001年来的所有选举——也被边缘化。他们在军法管制和巴育的绝对权力面前没有说话余地。不过,虽然政变后这些人一直保持沉默,在新政治机会出现时他们无疑将重新加入政治角力。无论如何,泰国未来的政治秩序的构建,不能无视他们的力量。

当然,军政府想借制定新宪法,按照他们的意愿塑造国家未来的政治格局。上述做法——到目前为止已设立由36人组成的宪法起草委员会,和250人组成的国家改革委员会,来协助起草新宪法——是过去一年里影响国内政治的第三个关键因素。

上个月刚完成的宪法草案引发严重关切,这是因为它过度限制政党与政治人物,并授权官僚和法官否决民选官员的决策。据此宪法举行的选举不太可能产生合法的结果。好消息是军政府已同意明年初就宪法草案举行全民公投,但这可能意味着军政府承诺的选举最快也只能在8月举行。

军法管制让人民不能走上街头,封锁了政治体制,并启动了向某种尚未确定的新制度的长期过渡。反对政变的势力支持回归民主选举,但由民主党领导的亲政变联盟却日益向军方靠拢,希望在新的政治体制中掌握权力。

目前,泰国正在专制与民主、过去与未来的夹缝中挣扎,情况要到王室长期以来的影响逐渐消失才有可能改变。到那时,面对国家内部分化和区域挑战的泰国人,将不得不利用他们众所周知的谈判技巧,在共同利益基础上达成某种可以实行的折衷方案。

作者Thitinan Pongsudhirak是曼谷朱拉隆功大学政治学系教授,安全和国际问题研究中心主任。

英文原题:Thailand's Stunted Transition

版权所有:Project Syndicate, 2015

One year after Thailand’s 12th military coup in its 83 years under constitutional rule, and as the controversial trial for criminal negligence of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra gets under way, the country’s future is perilously uncertain. In the months ahead, the military-enforced calm will coexist with growing anxiety about what will follow King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s nearly seven-decade-long reign. Will compromise and mutual accommodation – extremely rare in recent years, enable Thailand to reshape its contested political order – currently underpinned by an elite-driven, monarchy-centered hierarchy – to reflect better the principles of electoral democracy?

Three key factors have defined Thai politics over the past year. First, unlike tried and tested post-coup arrangements from the past, the junta that seized power last May, the National Council for Peace and Order, chose to rule directly, with the coup’s leader, General Prayut Chan-ocha, assuming the premiership, rather than appointing a recognized and capable figure to the position.

Four-star generals also fill top ministerial positions, from commerce and transport to labor and education. Even the foreign minister is a general, rather than a career diplomat. The government’s few technocrats, including the deputy prime minister and the finance minister, are holdovers from the previous coup government of 2006-2007, and they complain that they lack authority.

This approach has produced an incoherent economic strategy and vague, sluggishly implemented policy targets. But it is unlikely to change. Thailand’s new military leaders view themselves as a kind of cleanup crew, tasked with eradicating corruption, keeping politicians in line, and restoring the old order, underpinned by a symbiotic relationship between the military and the monarchy, with the bureaucracy handling day-to-day governance.

To be sure, Thailand’s military rulers do not reject responsiveness to public demands or deny the imperatives of adapting to globalization. Rather, they hope to establish a form of electoral rule that can function within a political order based on traditional Thai institutions and customs. Their goal is to take the country a few steps back and sideways, with the goal of moving forward in a completely different direction.

For now, this means promoting conventional conservative values like discipline, deference, duty, and sacrifice. Civil servants have been prodded to wear customary khaki uniforms, and women encouraged to don traditional dresses. Even the fabled floating markets in Bangkok’s canals are back, on Prayut’s orders.

At the same time, the junta’s agenda entails measures to control the direction of Thai politics – in particular, by marginalizing opponents, especially politicians tied to the influential Shinawatra family. Indeed, the second major factor shaping the post-coup interregnum was the impeachment of Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was deposed by the military in 2006 and remains abroad in self-imposed exile. Yingluck has been banned from politics for five years.

The dilemma for the junta is that Thaksin’s supporters – who are plentiful enough to have enabled his parties to win every election since 2001 – have been marginalized as well, with little say in the face of martial law and Prayut’s absolute rule. Though they have remained quiet since the coup, they will undoubtedly maneuver to re-enter the fray as new political opportunities emerge. In any case, they will have to be reckoned with down the road, when a new political order is brokered.

Of course, the junta hopes to lay the groundwork for the future political order now, on its own terms, by adopting a new constitution. This effort – which has so far entailed the creation of the 36-member Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) and the 250-member National Reform Council to help write the new constitution – marks the third key factor influencing domestic politics over the past year.

The draft constitution completed last month has raised serious concerns, as it places excessive checks on political parties and politicians, while giving appointed bureaucrats and judges the power to overrule policy decisions by elected officials. Elections conducted according to such a constitution are unlikely to produce legitimate results. The good news is that the junta has agreed to put the draft to a popular referendum early next year, although that probably means that the promised elections will not be held until August, at the earliest.

Military rule has cleared the streets, locked down the political system, and ushered in a long transition to some new, as-yet-undefined arrangement. While the anti-coup forces support a return to electoral democracy, the pro-coup coalition, led by the Democrat Party, is increasingly realigning itself against the military, in the hope of securing power in whatever post-coup system emerges.

For now, Thailand is trapped between authoritarianism and democracy, between the past and the future – and will likely remain there, until the long royal twilight has passed. At that point, the Thai people, buffeted by domestic polarization and regional challenges, will have to muster their once-famous negotiation skills to achieve a workable compromise based on their shared interests.

(Thitinan Pongsudhirak is Professor and Director of Chulalongkorn University’s Institute of Security and International Studies in Bangkok.)

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