Democrat Party and dirty politics II

20 06 2011

In PPT’s first post on this theme, we wrote of the Democrat Party’s provocative actions that are planned to agitate red shirts. In the media, especially on television, it is the Democrat Party that it complaining of dirty tactics.

In The Nation, Democrat Party leaders are cited as denouncing “bullying by supporters of the rival Pheu Thai Party…”. What is this bullying? It is a few people, who show up where Abhisit Vejjajiva, Chuan Leekpai and Suthep Thaugsuban are campaigning, and hold up signs asking for an account of the dead in April and May 2010. The implication is that these people, some in red shirts, blame these men for the deaths.

On television, Suthep has stated that these protesters are engaging in unfair tactics, that “the red shirts and Puea Thai Party are one, and that they are under the orders of Thaksin Shinawatra.” He demanded that the Election Commission investigate this unholy alliance. In The Nation, Suthep “called on Pheu Thai to tell the red shirts to stop ‘bullying’ the Democrat… [Party] during their campaign tour.” He added: “I can’t stand it anymore. I denounce Pheu Thai for allowing bullies to interrupt the campaigning. I call on the public to oppose these people…”.

In The Nation, Abhisit claims that his party is behind in the polls because party supporters are intimidated by the handful of protesters and hecklers, and don’t want to identify themselves and their voting intention. Abhisit said “many of the party’s supporters were peace-loving and they did not want to get into trouble for clearly stating that they were Democrat supporters.” He added: “I believe there are many people in this group. They keep their choice to themselves. My message to the bullies is that they now have a little more than 10 days to do the bullying. When July 3 [the election day] arrives, the Thais will tell you that you can bully the Democrat Party but you can’t bully Thailand…”.

Of course, such “peace-loving” supporters of the Democrat Party such as the Army, DSI, palace, ISOC and Interior Ministry could never be accused of “bullying.” They prefer much stronger measures. Indeed, it was under Suthep’s watch that snipers were first deployed against red shirt protesters. Directing bullets at a person’s head is rather more vicious than a bit of campaign banter.

PPT has also noticed something else in recent days that seems a little more intense than bullying. Readers will have noticed the brazen gunning down in Bangkok of a Phum Jai Thai Party canvasser from Lopburi. On television, Suthep and other Democrat Party leaders were quick to state that Puea Thai was responsible. The news reports have harped on this line and given extraordinary attention to this murder.

PPT has no idea who might have killed this canvasser. However, it is noticeable that the murder of a Puea Thai Party canvasser in Ayutthaya has received far less attention, even when it is known that he was killed by a political opponent. Nor have other murders and attempted murders of Puea Thai canvassers and candidates received the same attention as that of the Lopburi canvasser. Indeed, it was Suthep who claimed that “some parties” – the implication was clear – might be shooting at their own, simply to garner sympathy and votes.

It is indeed ironic when the butchers of Bangkok, those who presided over the state’s killing and maiming, who locked up hundreds while censoring tens of thousands of opposition media, and who claim that Puea Thai is simply a vehicle to whitewash Thaksin, are the ones who seek to whitewash themselves, painting themselves as “peaceful,” and subject to nasty bullying and worse by groups they insist are violent.

Now the Democrat Party hopes for violence before election day in order to boost their vote. PPT can’t help wondering if they can arrange that. Are they desperate enough for that kind of tactic?


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