BANGKOK — In a parliamentary race this weekend that is being seen as a referendum on Bangkok’s recent upheavals, only one of the two leading candidates is campaigning.
The other is in prison, accused of terrorism for his leading role in the so-called red shirt protests, which paralyzed the city center until they were crushed by force in May.
The disparity underlines the divisions that persist in Thailand following a nine-week anti-government demonstration during which nearly 90 people were killed and more than 1,400 injured. Since then a sort of clenched turmoil has prevailed, with a surface-level calm concealing social and political conflict that most analysts say is likely to burst out again in the future.
Since stopping the protests, the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has pursued a two-track policy, promoting what Mr. Abhisit calls “national reconciliation” while at the same time arresting his opponents or silencing them with vigorous and widespread censorship of newspapers, radio stations and the Internet.