Buying votes? Policy corruption? Double standards?

6 05 2011

Some have accused the Democrat Party-led coalition government of engaging in vote-buying. But according to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, that “was the last thing on the cabinet’s mind when it approved spending worth tens of billions of baht at a marathon meeting on Tuesday…”. Now who wouldn’t believe that?

PPT has it collective hand up. We think this claim can be added to Abhisit’s long list of untruths.

Like so much else in recent months this meeting, lasting from 8am until 2am, that “pushed through 102 proposals on the regular agenda, 96 off-agenda proposals and 56 reports,” is all about an election (or as some have it, “heading off a national government”). Billions of baht were ladled out. Even the Post called it a “last-minute rush of spending,” and there are plenty of critics, including in the business community.

As usual, the military was in the trough: “The cabinet approved a budget of 7 billion baht for the army to buy 54 T-84 OPLOT 54A tanks from the Ukraine, and 920 million baht to buy ammunition from China for the army’s operations along the Thai-Cambodian border.” And, presumably, for killing any protesters who happen to support any opposition.

The army, which has seemed more intent on killing red shirts and locking up opposition politicians than in dealing with the festering crisis in the south also got “a budget of 2.692 billion baht for the army’s plan to set up 60 companies of rangers in the three southern provinces and female-only ranger units.” It is reported that the “cabinet also approved an increase in daily allowances for rangers from 55 baht to 120 baht, and 359 million baht for a security and national defence plan.” Rangers are renowned for human rights abuses over a long period.

It looks like the army got at least another 11-12 billion baht. Not a bad reward for being the defenders of the regime. They have won tens of billions of baht since they engineered a coup along with the old bosses in the palace.

Acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said the “cabinet approved 13.745 billion baht from the central budget for priority projects, not 100 billion as reported.” Our adding skills must be amiss, for if we see 11-12 billion for the military, then the other 190 projects must have gotten a few satang each. Somebody is either reporting badly or there’s shovels full of buffalo dung being used by Panitan.

It is very clear that everything the regime has been doing for the past several months is meant to fix an election result.

As a footnote, while Abhisit is still claiming that an election will be held “soon,” the latest announcement from the palace on the king’s health might suggest a longer delay: “His Majesty the King’s condition continues to improve…. The team of royal physicians has examined the surgical wound and are satisfied…. The doctors have advised that His Majesty suspend royal activities for a period of time.”


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6 responses

20 08 2012
Kavi goes off, loves Abhisit, hates Yingluck, hates electors « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] about corruption now and the Democrat Party government didn’t do anything wrong (see here, here, here and here, just as a few examples of Kavi’s […]

20 08 2012
Kavi goes off, loves Abhisit, hates Yingluck, hates electors « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] is all about corruption now and the Democrat Party government didn’t do anything wrong (see here, here, here and here, just as a few examples of Kavi’s […]

5 01 2013
Army and Ukraine purchases « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Prayuth Chan-ocha says the Ukraine will deliver its first batch of T-84 Oplot battle tanks in May. The first post PPT had on this was back in May 2011, when the Abhisit government rushed to spend money and to buy more […]

5 01 2013
Army and Ukraine purchases « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Prayuth Chan-ocha says the Ukraine will deliver its first batch of T-84 Oplot battle tanks in May. The first post PPT had on this was back in May 2011, when the Abhisit government rushed to spend money and to buy more […]

10 01 2016
Tanking | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Prayuth Chan-ocha says the Ukraine will deliver its first batch of T-84 Oplot battle tanks in May. The first post PPT had on this was back in May 2011, when the Abhisit government rushed to spend money and to buy more […]

10 01 2016
Tanking | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Prayuth Chan-ocha says the Ukraine will deliver its first batch of T-84 Oplot battle tanks in May. The first post PPT had on this was back in May 2011, when the Abhisit government rushed to spend money and to buy more […]




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