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2008年12月17日 (水)

タイ新首相―国民和解にまず対話を

2008/12/17

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 16(IHT/Asahi: December 17,2008)

EDITORIAL: New Thai prime minister

タイ新首相―国民和解にまず対話を

Will Thailand now be able to regain stability as an advanced Southeast Asian democracy? The nation's political pendulum on Monday swung against forces loyal to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

 タイはこれで、東南アジアの民主主義の先達として安定を取り戻すことができるだろうか。 

 タクシン派から反タクシン派へ、政治の振り子が大きく振れた。 

After days of political maneuvering that began earlier this month to cobble together a new ruling coalition, the opposition Democrat Party secured enough support to prevail over the pro-Thaksin forces. On Monday, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, 44, was elected the new prime minister of Thailand by the lower house of parliament.

 今月初めから続いた連立政権交渉で、タクシン元首相派と対立してきた野党民主党が多数派工作に成功した。下院は、44歳のアピシット民主党党首を新首相に選んだ。 

This spelled the first comeback in seven years and 10 months for the Democrats, who twice held power during the 1990s.

 90年代に2度政権の座にあった民主党にとっては、7年10カ月ぶりの政権返り咲きである。 

These years have been characterized by a bitter political struggle between the pro-Thaksin and anti-Thaksin forces. The former is supported mainly by farmers and low-income constituents in the rural northeast while the latter represents urban middle-class and wealthier constituents in and around Bangkok as well as the nation's business community with their vested interests.

 この間、東北部を中心に農民や貧困層が支持するタクシン派と、首都を中心とした中間層や富裕層、既得権でつながるビジネス層が支える反タクシン派との激しい政治対立が続いた。 

Two years have already elapsed since Thaksin was ousted in the September 2006 military coup. But the animosity between the two camps has since intensified to the point of creating a deep rift in society. The new prime minister's foremost priority is to try to heal the antagonism and hostility and restore political stability through national reconciliation.

 元首相が軍のクーデターで追放されて2年がたつというのに、互いの敵対心は社会を二分するまでに広がっている。新首相はなによりもまず、この対立と憎悪を解消する手を打ち、国民和解を通じて政治の安定を取り戻さなければならない。 

But Abhisit himself must know better than anyone how daunting a challenge this will be.

 ただ、その使命を実行することがどれほど大変なことか、新首相自身が痛感しているに違いない。 

The military pulled the strings behind the scenes to anoint Abhisit. But since the new administration has not been popularly elected, one can hardly vouch for its legitimacy. Under the basic rules of democracy, Abhisit should dissolve the national assembly and call a general election if he is to seek a mandate from voters.

 新首相の選出には、軍部が背後で動いた。しかも新政権は総選挙の洗礼を受けておらず、十分な正統性があるとは言い難い。新首相が民意の支持を得るためには、国会を解散して総選挙を行うのが民主主義の筋道だろう。 


But few people in Thailand expect Abhisit to dissolve the national assembly immediately, since all general elections over the last few years have been won by the Thaksin camp. The anti-Thaksin parties failed to win a majority even in the general election of last December.

 ところが、新首相がすぐ国会解散に打って出ると見る向きはタイでは少ない。ここ数年、総選挙をやるたびにタクシン派が勝利し、反タクシン派政党は、昨年末の総選挙でも過半数を取れなかったからだ。 


Thailand's credibility has been shattered in the international community. The weeklong siege of Bangkok's two airports from late November by the anti-Thaksin People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) stranded many foreign tourists, including Japanese, and affected foreign companies operating in Thailand.

 国際社会のタイへの信頼はすでに大きく損なわれている。反タクシン派による空港占拠事件では、日本人を含む多くの外国人観光客が足止めを食らい、進出企業にも影響が出た。 

There are also concerns about the health of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has been playing a vital role in keeping the country together. The monarch turned 81 on Dec. 5 but did not give his customary pre-birthday address to the nation this year.

 国民の統合に大きな役割を果たしてきたプミポン国王の健康不安も気がかりだ。今月81歳となった国王は、誕生日前の演説を行わなかった。 

Unless the Thai government is able to regain its trust at home and abroad and reassure everyone, Japanese businesses in Thailand will have to re-examine their long-term strategies. The Japanese government ought to convey this concern to Abhisit.

 タイが内外の信頼を回復し、不安を解消させなければ、日系企業の長期戦略の見直しが必要だ。政府はこうした懸念を新首相に伝えるべきだ。 

We ask the new prime minister to take bold initiatives. We want him to fight poverty in the northeast to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor, and to shun favoritism in the appointment of anti-Thaksin people to government posts while advancing dialogue with the Thaksin forces.

 東北部の貧困対策に力を入れ、貧富の格差を是正する。反タクシン派の情実人事を排し、タクシン派との対話を進める。新首相にはこうした政策に果敢に取り組むよう求めたい。 

The government and the people of Thailand also need to engage in open debate on the role of the monarchy in politics to ensure the establishment of their democracy over the long term. The Thais cannot secure political stability if they keep relying on the king to intervene in times of crisis.

 長期的な民主制度の定着のために、王室と政治がどのような役割を果たすのか、国民に開かれた議論も必要だ。王室に依存する体質を改めなければ、政治の安定は得られまい。 

Thailand is a valued diplomatic partner of Japan. We hope Thailand will come out of this confusion as soon as possible.

 タイは日本外交の重要なパートナーでもある。一日も早く混迷から抜け出してほしい。

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