As the PDRC protest enters its fifth fruitless month inside a Bangkok public park, the Democrats mulled over their stance in this political drama. The men at the party’s helm, wise strategists and veterans of decades of Thai street protests, do realise the obvious truth that their position is untenable. They cannot support roadblocks and political cul-de-sac forever, especially when it brings nothing but a discomforting stalemate.
A move by a prominent Democrat made it all clear that their prolonged patience has ran out. The PDRC has pulled the battle for too long, and yet is unable to declare a decisive victory over the government. It was time to go for the alternative.
Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, the leader of the Democrat Party, ever charming, uploaded a video on his Facebook fanpage and Youtube. He volunteered to serve as a “middleman” and asked for himself a chance to help find a resolution to the conflict. This move is widely interpreted as his willingness to divert from the PDRC all-out-war berserk stance, to a more moderate, democratic and constitutional, line.
On the other side of the conflict, the Pheu Thai party appeared to welcome this move by the Democrat leader, calling it a positive development to the political stalemate.
It took only a few days for the leader of the PDRC movement, Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban to announce that he would not allow anyone to act as a “mediator”. Was Suthep denouncing Abhisit? He did not finger-point anybody, but during the period after Abhisit’s announcement to Suthep’s announcement, no one existed that proclaimed his willingness to mediate the conflicting parties, no one except for Mr. Abhisit.
The PDRC and the Democrats have always been fighting on the same side, yet there appears to be a shift in stance from the Democrat side.This is seen as a split in ideology between the hardliners in the PDRC and the more moderate Abhisit and his colleagues in the Democrat Party.
While the futile street protest will continue, Abhisit now realizes the inevitable: The PDRC has failed to topple the government, and is unsuccessful in instigating a military coup. To spare the party from sharing in this dishonourable failure of the PDRC, Abhisit can only return to elections.
While the PDRC has clearly lost the momentum, the upcoming weeks will decide the fate of Yingluck, and the country. A court ruling that deposes the embattled Prime Minister will most likely trigger a response by the UDD. This will plunge the country into deeper conflict, pitting both sides again on a heated head-on collision, ideologically, if not physically.