Covering the bases

26 03 2011

The Bangkok Post has an article that should be given some serious consideration, even if it is on the perennial topic of the potential military coup.

2006 coup

More importantly, the story circulating that has “Observers are warning that removing army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha could easily trigger a coup d’etat” suggests that the military and the elite are beginning a process of covering bases to ensure that any Puea Thai Party electoral victory does not mean that those currently holding power are not challenged. This suggests some uncertainty amongst the elite about the ability of the royalist coalition parties winning an election.

This is not a new story. Following the 2006 coup, while the military and anti-Thaksin Shinawatra elements put in place a whole set of new rules and “managed” a referendum and the 2007 election, the unthinkable happened and pro-Thaksin parties formed government. However, the government was ring-fenced by a range of bodies that were meant to prevent the election winners from doing anything that challenged those now called the amart by red shirts. Of course, central to this strategy was the military.

They are doing it again, and hence the threat of a coup against any pro-Thaksin, pro-red shirt government that might seek to change the “balance of power.” This is before even the announcement of an election!

Those who consider it their birthright to rule Thailand are not going to stand for any attempt to change things. Revealingly, this article even states that any attempt to “remove any standing legacy of the 2006 coup” will be resisted, perhaps by military force. Anyone who considers that the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime is returning the country to “normal” should consider that this normality involves a particular structure of regime and power that appears non-negotiable via the ballot box.

Prayuth is around for another three years, so the idea that he will protect the status quo is strong. Indeed, Prayuth is busy embedding his clique within the military in an effort to ensure that the Army’s role as protectors of the amart and their nation is unshakable.

Thus, when the Post says that analysts and pundits reckon a “military coup is therefore a possibility that cannot be discounted,” the warning to the Puea Thai Party is clear.

In fact, PPT is not convinced that the Puea Thai Party can win the “lion’s share” of votes. We think that after 6 years of “learning,” the ruling royalist elite should have learned what they have to do to manufacture an electoral victory. Their repression, censorship, jailings, and changing of the rules should be enough to ensure and electoral result that would be something like “victory.” That the bosses are not so sure and are buying insurance may suggest we are wrong and that Army polling is suggesting Puea Thai may have a chance.





4 responses

26 03 2011
Rallies, coups and bickering promote anti-democratic sentiment | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Skip to content HomeAbout usPending casesConvictionsCommentaryTake Action ← Covering the bases March 26, 2011 · 9:09 […]

27 03 2011
Reform required but is it likely or possible? | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] there remain many skeptics. And, the royalists appear to remain jittery about the outcome (see here and […]

27 03 2011
Abhisit’s royalist boomerang and the failure of royalist reform | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] first takes up a theme that has been winding its way through several PPT posts (e.g. here, here and here), where she points to the irony of Article 7 of the Constitution being invoked against current […]

14 06 2011
Prayuth’s heavy hand « mundane Bangkok

[…] might find these comments from the website Political Prisoners in Thailand […]

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