Advancing Thai democracy requires more political cooperation: ‘Madame Dear’
Leading Democrat figure Watanya Bunnag, known as "Madam Dear", on Thursday called for cooperation among political parties to move Thailand further towards democracy.
Referring to the Cabinet’s declaration of its policies earlier this week, Watanya said many policies promised to voters before the May 14 election were not included or were mentioned in broad terms, such as equality and the development of democracy.
The party's chief of political innovation for Bangkok – who is also the wife of Nation Group CEO Shine Bunnag – added that the Cabinet described its 10,000 baht digital wallet policy with more clarity than its other policies.
The Cabinet did not pay as much attention to other issues, such as the environment, human rights, education, labour, government decentralisation, and wealth distribution, she said, adding that this was especially true for amending the charter.
Watanya added that the digital wallet policy aims to restore confidence and popularity even though many economists have warned that it could damage Thailand's long-term financial status.
She said that many people lost hope that Thai politics would change after Pheu Thai formed a coalition with political parties linked to former Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
She said that people knew a behind-the-scenes deal was part of the coalition's formation, and that it benefited politicians instead of the national interest.
She also described the May 14 election as a battle between parties seeking change and those wanting to perpetuate the current system.
It is undeniable that poverty and inequality continue to plague Thailand, Watanya said.
She called for cooperation among political parties and respect for differences in political views in order to make Thailand more democratic.
Cooperation is necessary for maintaining government stability, Watanya said, adding that the government cannot develop and implement policies without support from members of the previous governing coalition.
This is a challenge for Democrats too, she said.