PAD hates elections and voters

26 02 2012

Chamlong

A story in the the Bangkok Post a couple of days ago deserves some attention. It is a story that has the People’s Alliance for Democracy “threatening legal action and mass rallies in response to the government’s charter amendment bid.” To be sure, there is nothing surprising there.  PPT has been posting for some time that PAD and other anti-Thaksin Shinawatra stalwarts have been getting back together to oppose the Yingluck Shinawatra government, and supporting the military junta’s 2007 constitution is the chosen political location for that.

What is interesting in the story is PAD’s complete rejection of elections and voters. PAD co-leader Chamlong Srimuang reportedly stated that a “charter rewrite would greatly damage the nation and the PAD would not tolerate it.”

PAD leader and former Democrat Party parliamentarian Somkiat Pongpaibul proclaimed that “the charter change as an attempt to create a new kind of state, which he said was unacceptable.” This is a pretext for Somkiat’s declaration that “PAD would stage major protests against charter change if the government pressed ahead with it.”

Another PAD leader Phipob Dhongchai defended the military’s constitution and engaged in some not very startling conspiricist “logic” that is PAD’s stock in trade. He reckons that a constitutional rewrite is about Thaksin, claiming, the “connections were clear…. Pheu Thai is the ruling party and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is Thaksin’s sister. The clear goal of the charter rewrite move is to secure an amnesty for Thaksin and introduce a new power structure in the country.”

PAD spokesman Panthep Puapongpan added that “politicians in power would control the CDA because the 77 drafters would be elected from each of the provinces and House members would select 22 other drafters who were experts. He said the CDA would create a whole new charter that would pave the way for a parliamentary dictatorship.”

Of course, the idea of electing members of the CDA is simply abhorrent fro Panthep and PAD. They think elections are part of a pro-Thaksin conspiracy and that voters are duped, paid and stupid.

This “analysis” was supported by the usual group of mostly appointed senators, in positions created by the junta and its constitution, with the deep yellow Rosana Tositakul opining that “there was an obvious intent to control the executive, legislative and judicial branches and nullify the criminal charges against Thaksin.” When she adds that “the constitution had been endorsed by 14 million people in a referendum,” she is ignoring the fact that the military dominated the process of developing the constitution, establishing, lecturing and controlling the drafting body.

Rosana

As just one example of the commentary at the time, the Asian Human Rights Commission stated that “the military junta … has coerced, threatened, bought and cajoled part of the electorate into passing its 309-article constitution on August 19.” It noted that half the country was under martial – i.e. military – law and that “[o]pponents of the draft were intimidated and materials confiscated from houses and post offices. Protestors against the coup have been charged with criminal offences.” All in all, the AHRC concluded that it “regrets the passing of this regressive charter…”.

The fact that the constitution allows change – and by a relatively simple method – is ignored. The fact that the People Power Party and Puea Thai Party both campaigned with promises to amend the constitution and that both received very strong electoral support count for nothing with PAD’s leadership.

PAD, their supporters in the senate and others of their ilk simply hate the idea that voters and elections count for anything or that their voice should be heard.


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3 03 2012
The yellow protests begin « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] of both the lower and upper House opposing charter amendments.” They promised more protests. A couple of days later, the People’s Alliance for Democracy “threatening legal action and mass rallies in response to […]

3 03 2012
The yellow protests begin « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] of both the lower and upper House opposing charter amendments.” They promised more protests. A couple of days later, the People’s Alliance for Democracy “threatening legal action and mass rallies in response to […]