Steht Asien vor einer Ära Thaksin?

Das Ausscheiden von Lee Kuan Yew in Singapur und Mahathir Mohamed in Malaysia aus der ersten Reihe der Politik hat Südostasien seiner bedeutendsten politischen Führer beraubt. Kann Thailands Ministerpräsident Thaksin Shinawatra das Führungsvakuum innerhalb der Region füllen?

Eine Reihe außenpolitischer Paukenschläge – der Asiatische Kooperationsdialog (ACD), die Kooperationsstrategie für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit (ACMECS) zur Entwicklung des südostasiatischen Festlands und die Anerkennung Thailands als „bedeutender Verbündeter außerhalb der NATO“ durch die USA – haben dafür gesorgt, dass Thaksin während seiner ersten Amtszeit international im Rampenlicht stand. Die gewalttätigen Ausschreitungen im überwiegend muslimischen Süden Thailands schienen seinem Ehrgeiz im vergangenen Jahr einen Dämpfer zu versetzen; der Erdrutschsieg der von ihm geführten Partei Thai Rak Thai (TRT) jedoch hat seinem Anspruch auf eine Führungsrolle innerhalb der Region zu neuem Leben verholfen.

Dass die TRT in der zweiten Kammer des Parlaments mehr als 75 % der Sitze erzielen konnte, macht Thaksin zu Hause politisch unbesiegbar. Tatsächlich ist er der erste gewählte Führer Thailands, der eine vierjährige Amtszeit durchgestanden hat, anschließend wiedergewählt wurde und dabei einer Einparteienregierung vorsteht. Eine Dominanz wie die Thaksins gab es in der thailändischen Politik noch nie, und seine anhaltende Beliebtheit beim wankelmütigen Wahlvolk ist ohne Beispiel.

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