The Yomiuri Shimbun
Can Thailand’s new constitution lead to national reconciliation?
タイ新憲法 国民和解につなげられるのか

One would have to conclude that Thailand has opted for prolonging the life of the junta. Is it possible to pave the way for national reconciliation, which is Thailand’s biggest challenge?
軍事政権の延命が図られたということだろう。タイの最大の懸案である国民和解に道筋をつけられるのか。

To obtain the trust of the international community, the junta must put all its efforts into realizing a full transition to civilian rule.
国際社会の信頼を得るには、軍政は全面的な民政移管に力を尽くさねばならない。

A draft of a new constitution compiled under the military rule was endorsed by a majority of votes in a referendum. As the constitution was designed to ensure the military’s political influence, the content of the new basic law is far from democratic.
軍政下でまとめられた新憲法草案が国民投票の結果、賛成多数で承認された。軍が政治的な影響力を行使できる仕掛けが施され、民主的な内容にはほど遠い。

Under the new constitution, the prime minister is not required to be a lower house member, making it possible for military personnel to assume the post. As a provisional measure in the initial five years, the junta can appoint anyone it wants to the upper house. The referendum also approved granting the upper house the right to nominate a prime minister.
新憲法は、下院議員でなくても首相になれるようにし、軍人首相に道を開いた。経過措置として最初の5年間は、軍政の意に沿う人物を上院議員に任命できる。その上院にも、首相の指名権を与えることが国民投票で認められた。

An electoral system that makes it difficult for any single party to win a majority will be introduced in the lower house. Behind this move is the junta’s aim to block the reinstatement of the political force led by former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, which is strong in elections with its support base of farmers in rural areas and low-income earners in urban areas. A general election will be held by the end of next year.
下院では、1党が単独で過半数を獲得しにくい選挙制度を導入する。地方の農民や都市の低所得者を支持層とし、選挙に強いタクシン元首相派の復権を阻止する軍政の狙いを反映したものだろう。総選挙は来年中に実施される。

There has been a fierce confrontation in Thailand for more than 10 years between the Thaksin forces and anti-Thaksin forces. The anti-Thaksin forces mainly comprise groups with vested interests, including military personnel and bureaucrats.
タイでは10年以上にわたり、タクシン派と、軍人や官僚などの既得権益層を中心とする反タクシン派が激しい対立を続けてきた。

Behind the approval of the new constitution is the public’s hopes for a stable society even under the military rule amid expectations that the new constitution will be a step forward toward a return to civilian rule.
新憲法承認の背景には、国民が軍政下であっても安定を望んだ面や、民政復帰の一歩となることへの期待があろう。

No legitimacy

However, for whatever reason, it is clear that the junta, which ignored democratic procedures and took power in a coup, has no legitimacy.
しかし、いかなる理由であれ、民主的な手続きを無視し、クーデターで政権を奪取した現在の軍政に正統性がないのは明らかだ。

It is worrisome that the junta is clamping down on free speech and stifling opposing opinions with an iron fist.
懸念されるのは、現政権が言論統制を強めるなど、強権で異論を抑え込んでいることである。

The junta has repeatedly temporarily detained students opposing the new constitution, and politicians and reporters who have criticized the junta. It also totally prohibited systematic campaigns seeking discussions of the pros and cons of the new constitution.
新憲法に反対する学生や、軍政に批判的な発言をした政治家、記者の一時的な拘束を繰り返した。有権者に賛否を呼びかける組織的な運動も全面的に禁止した。

National reconciliation cannot be realized with such a governing method. After the referendum, there was a series of explosions in the central part of the country, where Thai royal family palaces are located, and in resorts in the south. The junta suspects that opponents of the new constitution were involved in the incidents.
こんな統治手法では、国民和解は実現しまい。国民投票後には、タイ王室の宮殿がある中部や南部のリゾート地で連続爆発事件が起きた。軍政は新憲法に不満を持つ勢力が関与したと見ている。

It is feared that continued uncertainty in the political situation will affect the economy, curbing foreign investment and profits from tourism. Thailand is an important production base for Japanese companies, such as automobile manufacturers.
今後も、不透明な政情が続くようなら、外国企業の投資や観光収入など経済に及ぼす影響が心配される。タイは自動車メーカーなど日系企業の大切な製造拠点だ。

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is shaken by the issue of the South China Sea. The stability of Thailand — one of the association’s main member countries — is also important for ASEAN unity.
東南アジア諸国連合(ASEAN)は南シナ海問題で揺れている。主要国タイの安定はASEANの結束にとっても重要である。

In response to the referendum, interim Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha issued a statement that said he would employ every possible means to eliminate public concern. It is indispensable for him to sincerely make efforts to overcome the nation’s divided society as mentioned in the statement.
国民投票を受けて、プラユット暫定首相は「国民の懸念を払拭するため、あらゆる手を尽くすつもりだ」との声明を発表した。その言葉通り、社会の分断の克服に真摯しんしに努めることが欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 17, 2016)

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