Why we are not surprised I

20 05 2011

PPT was not at all surprised to read in the Bangkok Post that “legal questions haunt Yingluck [Shinawatra].” It is almost as if the Post has hit the campaign trail, along with the usual cast of characters and what we like to call the mainstream media.

In this case, the story on the front page is not the red shirt rally or the other events that marked the one-year anniversary of the bloodletting of 19 May 2010, but the story of the continued celebration of the use the judiciary to hack away at Thaksin Shinawatra and his past (and future?) election victories. The remarkable bias in the presentation is further seen in the fact that the headline photo in the online version is not of Yingluck but of Abhisit Vejjajiva.

On the political use of the judiciary, the problem for the judicial spoilers is that they demonstrate, again and again, that double standards apply and that votes simply don’t need to be counted.

In the story, the Post cites a Sondhi Limthongkul-associated news service on a “new controversy” on Thaksin’s assets case that “could lead to her being disqualified from the election.” It is claimed that “Yingluck may be prohibited from applying to be a candidate if it is found she has violated Section 102 of the constitution which prohibits a person whose assets have been ordered seized by the courts, a person who is unusually rich or a person whose assets have increased in a dubious way from applying for election candidacy.”

And who does the Post go to for a comment? None other that prominent anti-Thaksin lawyer Kaewsan Atibhodhi, a former member of the military junta-established Assets Scrutiny Committee. While he says this case is not a problem for Yingluck, he then makes a claim that Yingluck “may face three charges of perjury pertaining to when she testified before the court about the assets seizure case, when she testified before the ASC and when she made a statement about share transfers when testifying before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).”

Kaewsan seems to be urging a court to hear them. As far as PPT can tell, no such cases currently exist.

Of course, Puea Thai Party representatives wave off the assets case, saying that “the court ordered the seizure of Thaksin’s assets, not Ms Yingluck’s assets so the court’s verdict would not affect her election candidacy.”

So the election campaign has kicked off with attacks on the opposition by the military, the imprisoning of a Puea Thai candidate, a murderous attack on a Puea Thai candidate, Abhisit claiming that a vote for Puea Thai is unacceptable to the elite and now the judicial card is thrown of the table. How high are the odds to be stacked against the opposition?

Just to be clear: PPT is not arguing against the application of the law. What we are saying is that the application of the law in Thailand appears like politics by judicial means. It looks lop-sided, biased and unfair. Perception will eventually matter a heck of a lot, and we suspect that it is this kind of bias that leads to frustration, anger and rebellion.


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3 05 2013
Authoritarian speak | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] has also been a member of the ultra-royalist Siam Samakkhi group and attempted to concoct legal cases against Yingluck Shinawatra during the 2011 election […]

3 05 2013
Authoritarian speak | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] has also been a member of the ultra-royalist Siam Samakkhi group and attempted to concoct legal cases against Yingluck Shinawatra during the 2011 election […]