Neutrality? Back to normal?

23 03 2011

Quite a number of sources, including AFP, have  reported that army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has “vowed not to meddle in the kingdom’s elections and stressed his neutrality following coup rumours and increased street protests this year.”

PPT just choked on breakfast. General Prayut, “considered a key ally of the ruling Democrat Party” has suddenly become a democrat rather than a major supporter of the Democrat Party’s election campaign.

Next we’ll be told that Privy Council President General Prem Tinsulanonda has agreed to meet Thaksin Shinawatra for coffee at Starbucks.

Prayuth might want to give the impression that he is standing back from the dirty business of elections, but he is like an alcoholic standing outside a brewery. He can’t resist. Moreover, he has already been involved. Everything that miltiary has done since the palace-inspired 2006 coup has been to ensure the Democrat Party heads a royalist government!

If PPT was to believe the general when he says: “It is up to the people to decide which party will form a government,” then we’d believe there was no coup and no army crackdown on red shirt demonstrators. We’d believe that the military’s budget for “national security” had been reduced. Fairy tales….

When Prayuth insists “that the vote would be the best way to end years of political turbulence in the country, echoing comments by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Monday,” then we’d ask why earlier elections counted for nothing, zilch, zero for this same general since 2005. We know he is speaking like this because he reckons that the Democrat Party might pull an election victory out of the fire this time.

Part of this nonsense derives from Abhisit Vejjajiva’s musings on elections. In another AFP story the prime minister said elections “offered a choice between his policies and a ‘cycle of conflict and violence’.” Abhisit seems confident he can win. He seems to think that all the fixing, money, coups, military and palace intervention, murders, jailings, repression, and so on may finally deliver the elite’s desired outcome.

They might, but that doesn’t mean these men will have legitimacy even though they will loudly proclaim it.

Abhisit also threatens voters. His claim that “the question for voters would be: ‘Do you want to move forward with the policies that we have initiated and will build on, or do they want to stay in this cycle of conflict and violence?’ is a threat. Why? Because each time in the past when voters went against the elite and its parties, it was the elite that rejected the results and initiated the conflict and violence. They’ll do it again.




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