Early elections called in Thailand

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, facing mass protests, has called early elections. It may not be coincidental that this move comes right after the opposition seemed to have given up on democracy: The Democrat Party, parliament’s second largest, announced Sunday it would resign en masse, and demonstrators have called for an unelected “People’s Council” to replace the elected institutions.

In the last elections, 3 July 2011, Shinawatra’s For Thais Party won 48.4% of the votes and 265 of the 500 seats. The Democrats won 35.2% and 159 seats. The electoral system is MMM. I don’t know much about Thai politics, but I assume Shinawatra isn’t calling an election she expects to lose. The protest movement seems overly confined to its base in Bangkok, whereas the ruling party has deep roots in much of the rest of the country.

Thailand’s politics remains a mess.