La crisis de la democracia tailandesa

Un año después de su aplastante reelección, el Primer Ministro de Tailandia, Thaksin Shinawatra, se ha visto obligado a disolver la Asamblea Nacional y convocar a elecciones inmediatas. Aunque su partido, el Thai Rak Thai (TRT), tiene una mayoría del 75% en la asamblea, Thaksin está asediado. Sigue siendo sumamente popular entre los electores rurales y los pobres de las zonas urbanas, que forman el 60% del electorado de Tailandia, pero ha estado luchando contra una fuerte insurrección de los intelectuales y las clases medias que se oponen a su gobierno desde Bangkok.

Acusan a Thaksin, el empresario más rico de Tailandia, de corrupción y traición por la venta libre de impuestos de la Corporación Shin, propiedad de su familia, a la Temasek Holdings del gobierno de Singapur, por un monto de 1.9 mil millones de dólares. El rápido cambio de la fortuna política de Thaksin pone de manifiesto los límites de las urnas y las deficiencias democráticas que aquejan ahora a muchos países en desarrollo, incluyendo a vecinos regionales como Filipinas.

Hasta hace poco, Thaksin parecía ser tan inexpugnable en casa como audaz y creíble en el extranjero. Explotando las profundas divisiones entre zonas urbanas y rurales de Tailandia, Thaksin llegó de manera apabullante al poder en 2001 sobre la base de una plataforma populista. Agitó el orgullo nacional y prometió a los tailandeses de las zonas rurales que su país alcanzaría la grandeza después de la devastadora crisis económica de 1997.

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