Starting on January 13th protests have been held in Bangkok, the movement is called "Shutdown Bangkok, Restart Thailand" and that is exactly what is intended to be done. The goal is to shutdown Bangkok in order to keep the current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra out of office, and off the new election ballot. Ideally people would like Yingluck to resign before the elections come, but so far this has not happened. Yingluck is the sister of the former Prime Minister Thaksin, who is currently not on Thai soil because of charges in corruption and the jail time that awaits him here. Although Thaksin is not here, it is strongly believed that he has a strong political influence over his sister.
Elections are intended to happen this Sunday, February 2nd. So as many Americans will be glued to their TV's for Superbowl 48 (GO HAWKS!), so will many Thais to watch the election. Nobody is quite sure what will happen come this Sunday, whether the election will happen, if the protests will continue etc. From my understanding regardless of the election happening or not, change will not be immediate. It could be years to come before Thailand is where many residents would like it to be, corruption free. This morning I read an article from The Bangkok Post stating, "It is predicted that as many as 10,000 polling stations nationwide will not be open for voting and poll reruns therefore must be held, which could take at least four to six months."
|Outside the Kapong protest|
|Selling ribbons and bows to show Thai support|
|Local leaders helping to keep residents informed and unified.|
So as the next 48 hours are quickly approaching, I am wishing everyone in Thailand a safe and successful election whatever this may mean for you.